Parliament, Tuesday, 30 June 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, visited the Park Rynie Forensic Mortuary in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend to support the families of those tragically gunned down in Mbumbulu last week. “As a public representative and Member of Parliament, I wanted to assist the families so that they can bury their loved ones over the weekend.”

Dr Dhlomo was surprised to find no doctor on duty, as the only doctor employed in the facility was on leave, in accordance with labour laws. After assessing and making observations, Dr Dhlomo called the doctor and he came to the facility to brief the Chairperson on the challenges facing the facility. The facility does not have an x-ray machine, meaning that all victims of shootings and other violent deaths have to be sent to other facilities. This causes delays when conducting post-mortems, Dr Dhlomo said.

Park Rynie Forensic Mortuary serves a large community of the South Coast stretching from Umbumbulu and past Umkomaas. With the closure of Gale Street Mortuary, the whole of Umlazi and Isipingo, a community of over 1.5million, is now served by one mortuary. When doctors working at Gale Street were given a choice of a mortuary, none chose Park Rynie and the vacant posts at Park Rynie remain unfilled.

Dr Dhlomo said he has decided to assist his community. “I have committed to go to the mortuary on Thursday to assist the one doctor, who has also decided to cancel his leave. I want to see my community burying their loved ones,” said Dr Dhlomo

“On the day I was at the facility,” Dr Dhomo continued, “there were 13 bodies with gun shots that would have to be sent somewhere else for x-rays. This truly creates unnecessary delays and wasting of resources for bodies to be moved up and down.

“The situation at Park Rynie mortuary is totally unacceptable. I will be discussing the matter with the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize. We cannot allow a facility to be run down to that extent.”

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO.

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