The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union has condemned the transporting of corpses using an open trailer in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Forty-two bodies in coffins fell onto the M1 south highway after a private undertaker’s trailer lost one of its wheels.

The trailer was carrying the 16 adult corpses and 26 stillborn babies from the Charlotte Maxeke hospital to a cemetery in Eldorado Park for a pauper’s burial.

The union says it blames this gruesome act on the outsourcing of key government functions to the private sector.

It says the private undertaker cut corners to save costs and used an open trailer to transport the bodies.

Nehawu says corpses also deserve to be treated with respect and should be transported in a dignified manner.

The Joburg Metro Police revealed that the driver of the trailer did not have any documentation proving that they are a registered mortuary or any hospital documentation to move the bodies.

The Gauteng health department said it regrets that the incident took place and will investigate further.