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Bodies of Zimbabweans pile up in Johannesburg mortuaries

By Staff Writer

BODIES of deceased Zimbabwean nationals are piling up in South African mortuaries following a change in the regulations governing the transportation of bodies between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Both South Africa and Zimbabwe are at various stages of national lockdowns against the coronavirus, with South Africa having extended the initial 21-day lockdown by a further two weeks.

The Herald reports that on average, 60 bodies pass through Beitbridge Border Post a week for burial in Zimbabwe, but of late the bodies have had to be returned back to the morugues due to a change of laws during the lockdowns.

The publication reports that initially one relative and the hearse drivers were allowed passage into Zimbabwe, but now that has been changed.

Under new changes, only the South Africa parlours’ driver is expected to leave the human remains with Zimbabweans parlours at Beitbridge Border Post for onward transportation.

However, this has been met with logistical challenges with parlours from the two countries yet to agree on sharing transportation fees.

On average it costs R15 000 to repatriate the remains of a Zimbabwean from South Africa.

The chairman of the Inner-City Funeral Directors Association- South Africa (IFDA-SA), Mr Nkosi Kwanike Nare said that the state of affairs has resulted in bodies piling up in Johannesburg mortuaries.

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Mr. Nare is quoted by the publication saying one of their members was recently fined R18 000 for overloading their morgue with three bodies. – Zimbabwe Voice

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