The Muslim Judicial Council (SA) request the public to support a petition demanding the Western Cape government expedite Muslim autopsies to within the pre-agreed 24-hour processing time.
“The MJC met with the Department of Health several times and have been in contact with the necessary authorities at the mortuaries as well,” said MJC 2nd Deputy President and Head of the Muslim Cemetery Board, Shaykh Riad Fataar.
The problem began in October last year when families were waiting about a week for the release of their loved ones. The department initially said the backlog was caused by an unusually heavy caseload being understaffed and under-resourced.
Yet, since 2012, the WC government cut their budget to the department and therefore it’s currently sitting with the huge backlog – not only are the Muslim community affected but people of other faiths are also being affected by these delays. At the same time, the Department only allows registered (employed) pathologists to conduct autopsies at its various mortuaries.
“We need the department to understand the level of anger and frustration the community feels at the department’s lack of sympathy for our religious and cultural practices. We initiated and recommended several interventions, but it seems nothing is being done to expedite Muslim autopsies,” Shaykh Fataar continued.
The petition aims to get 100 000 signatures by the end of January – the date of the follow-up meeting with the department – and will be distributed on social media, at various Masajid, businesses, etc.
The petition can be signed and shared here: http://www.mortuarycrisis.co.za
“We urge everyone to sign the petition and show the department that we take the burial of our deceased very seriously,” Shaykh Fataar concluded.
Final date for signatures is on Monday, 29th January 2018.
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