Over 2000 bodies remain unidentified or unclaimed at government owned mortuaries in Gauteng alone.

The Democratic Alliance in the province says Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramakgopa made these revelations in a written response in the Legislature recently.

Shootings, car accidents and stab wounds were listed as major causes of unnatural deaths that required post-mortems in state mortuaries.

DA’s shadow MEC of health Jack Bloom says that if the deceased death has been classified as unnatural by law the body has to be taken to a state mortuary. After 30 days the body receives a porpoise funeral if unclaimed.

“These unidentified bodies become unclaimed bodies. So what happens is that they are buried anonymously in a porpoise grave… Just imagine there are families out there searching for a missing loved one and this person has been lying in a mortuary, unidentified and now buried anonymously. So I think we need to do more to identify these bodies and return them to their families.”

Bloom states that more needs to be done to identify missing people.

“A lot of them are foreigners but the things is I think that more needs to be done to make it easy to identify missing people. I think there should be an internet website with controlled access.”

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