Postmortems delayed by mortuary strike
13 March 2018
A strike by Forensic Pathology Workers is delaying postmortems at state mortuaries in Gauteng.
The Germiston mortuary seems to be the worst affected, with 65 bodies piling up because of this illegal strike.
According to a memorandum issued on 8 March by Professor Mac Lukhele, the Acting Head of the Gauteng Health Department, the Forensic Pathology Officers embarked on an unprotected strike on 7 March by not carrying out their dissection and evisceration functions.
They have been given a final warning to resume their normal duties or face disciplinary action as they are in contradiction of an Interdict Judgement by the Labour Court on 5 December 2016.
It seems that the workers’ grievances relate to unfulfilled promises after their strike in June last year.
It is very distressing for families to have to wait for the burial of their loved ones because of this illegal strike.
In one case, Mr Naledzani Netshikulwe has been desperately trying to get the body of his nephew who died last week Thursday. He has written to me as follows: “As a family we need to collect the body, do the death certificate and then book the burial site but we can’t without postmortem results.”
I hope that the Department shows resolve in curbing this strike and ensures that the agreement reached last year concerning worker grievances is properly implemented.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 13 March 2018