The National Funeral Directors Association says the manner in which the 42 bodies were being transported on Wednesday in Johannesburg was totally unethical.
An undertaker trailer transporting the bodies of 16 adults and 24 stillborn babies for paupers’ burials, lost one of its wheels on the M1 south causing massive traffic disruptions.
The bodies were transported from Charlotte Maxeke hospital to Olifantsvlei cemetery south of Johannesburg.
Joburg Metro Police say the driver of the trailer did not have the necessary documentation proving that they are a registered mortuary or any hospital papers to move the bodies.
The Gauteng Health Department is investigating the matter.
The National Funeral Directors Association’s Mike Collinge says: “At the cemetery, you are allowed to bury three coffins in one grave. So what is supposed to happen is that each coffin has got a number and the position of each coffin is noted so that if, in the years to come, a family member arrives and says we want to exhume, we know where that person was buried.”
“It is legal. There is nothing untoward with transporting that number of persons. Just the way that it was done was unethical,” adds Collinge.