The DA in KwaZulu Natal has called on Premier Willies Mchunu to launch an urgent investigation into the body of a woman that has been lying at a mortuary for four years.
The party visited the Mchunu Funeral Parlour on Tuesday, where the corpse of the woman who died in her late 20s has been kept since 2014.
Times Select has reported that funeral parlour owner Siphiwe Mchunu has had to inject chemicals at his own cost into the decomposing corpse every day for all these years to preserve it, which has affected him psychologically.
He is awaiting payment from the Uthukela municipality for its storage costs. He reportedly now wants R1 million. No next of kin have ever been traced.
The municipality denies owing Mchunu any money and accuses him of refusing to hand it over to police to be taken to the state mortuary. Mchunu told the Times he was willing to surrender the body but not before obtaining legal assurance about suing the local government.
KZN premier candidate Zwakele Mncwango said on Wednesday the DA was disappointed that government institutions had failed the family of the young woman who died four years ago.
“During the oversight inspection, we spoke to the funeral parlour owner who gave us his version of the events. We then followed up with an inspection of the police station and also held a meeting with the management of the uThukela District Municipality to hear their version of the story.
“It is clear to us that none of these institutions is willing to take responsibility for the gross incompetence and insensitive conduct that took place here.
“The DA was shocked to discover that after the police learned of the death of this woman from her boyfriend, they never conducted an investigation.
“It is worrying that in a country with such high numbers of women and children killings, we have a police force that does not bother to investigate the death of a woman.”
Mncwango pointed out that because of the long period the corpse had been kept at the parlour, there was possibly now no way of identifying who she was, “meaning the family will be denied ever finding out if their family member has indeed passed away”.
“We are calling on the premier to investigate both the department of safety and community liaison and cooperative government and traditional affairs for this negligence. We are calling on the premier to show leadership and put an end to this shameful event by providing a proper and dignified burial for this lady and allow her to rest in peace.”