newsThe Witness reports that more than a dozen bereaved families were left in the lurch on Friday due a go-slow by Pietermaritzburg’s Medico-Legal Mortuary staff protesting over “unbearable” working conditions.  

On Friday there were reportedly more than 25 bodies waiting for autopsies in the government morgue, but the forensic pathology staff said they would only process two bodies a day until the Department of Health (DoH) gave in to their demands.  The mortuary services Msunduzi, Richmond and Mooi River.  The staff accused the DoH of having ignored their grievances for more than three years, which included non-functioning air conditioners, old uniforms and lack of cleaning equipment.  All public toilets, including the stall for the disabled, are out of order and have apparently not been functional for more than three months.  Nehawu’s site steward, Malibongwe Simelane, said the environment was not conducive to work and had become a health hazard.  Overtime work is apparently not paid for.  A DoH spokesperson said they were aware of certain internal matters raised by employees and they were being attended to, but were unaware of the further issues stated by The Witness.  The spokesperson reminded employees that they were providers of an essential service and “should they continue engaging in what constitutes an illegal and unprotected strike, they will bear the consequences.”

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