OVER 200 unclaimed bodies have piled up at government mortuaries and hospitals across Limpopo.
Some are believed to have been there for over two years.
The Limpopo health department has urged people who have lost contact with loved ones to go to their nearest government mortuaries.
Most of the bodies are those of people who were killed in road accidents.
Health spokesman Thabiso Teffo said they had tried to locate the families, without any success.
“They are unknown. Now that bodies are piling up at our mortuaries, we urge people to go to their nearest government mortuary to check if their family members’ bodies are not among the unclaimed ones,” Teffo told the People’s Paper.
The law states that the municipality can give an unclaimed body a pauper’s funeral without the family’s consent if it has been lying in a government mortuary for 30 days.
There seem to be more unclaimed bodies at Polokwane Hospital than at the mortuaries.
Teffo said in some cases, ongoing investigations have delayed burials.
“Our duty is to keep the bodies at our hospital mortuaries and not to do pauper’s burials.
“That is the responsibility of the municipality, but we could not involve it because investigations around some of the bodies, especially those from accidents, were continuing.
“Once investigations finish, months have passed and still no family member has come to claim the body,” said Teffo.