KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has urged families with missing family members to come forward and identify their loved ones at the Phoenix Medico-Legal Mortuary (MLM).

KZN Health says contrary to reports, the mortuary – which serves the wider eThekwini area and not just Phoenix –  is currently processing the mortal remains of 128 people and not 500 or 300 as reported by many.

HEALTH MEC VISITS PHOENIX MORTUARY

Simelane-Zulu said as of Wednesday, 21 July there is a backlog of 128 bodies. However, this backlog includes people who were killed or passed away elsewhere, in incidents that are not necessarily related to the unrest.

“It also includes people who passed on in the different hospitals within the catchment area of Phoenix. Normally, this facility receives about 70 bodies a week, so when you compare the normal figures with what we currently have, you can clearly see that there is a steep increase. But we are not in a position to indicate that all of those bodies are as a result of unrest.

“We have been hearing there are more than 300 bodies as a result of the unrest. So far, that is not true. It’s 128 bodies that we have received. Also, we cannot necessarily say all of them are as a result of the unrest. We do want to also call on the families who have loved ones that are missing, and have not been able to detect their whereabouts. We have 35 bodies in the facility, that have not been identified by the families. For as long as families do not identify them we are unable to process them, and therefore can’t get post-mortems out.”

KZN Health MEC

A dedicated team of ten detectives has been tasked with investigating the murders that were reported in Phoenix during the civil unrest that saw many communities in KZN form vigilante groups.

READ: Phoenix: One person arrested so far in 38 murder cases being investigated

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Presh JM Reporter

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