Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
14 Sep 2020
6:18 pm

The dead become pawns in undertaker strike

Sipho Mabena

Those whose loved ones die at home during this period will be unable to transport them to mortuaries, while government doesn't have the capacity to deal with transporting all the corpses between hospitals, accident scenes and elsewhere.

The body storage facilities at Sopema Funeral Services are seen, 21 July 2020, at their premises in Soweto. Used for illustrative purposes Picture: Michel Bega

The dead have joined the tussle between government and funeral practitioners, becoming the undertaking industry’s unwitting allies in their protest action on Monday. Bereaved families have been left in limbo, unable to move their departed loved ones as undertakers, grouped under the Unification Task Team (UTT), have declared that no private undertaker will move a body from Monday at midnight. Undertakers in their hearses parked at government mortuaries and hospitals across the country, to ensure that no corpse will moved unless if it was moved by the state itself. This presents a potential crisis, as government mortuaries have no capacity...