No real legislation around transport of dead bodies - Funeral federation

An open trailer carrying 42 bodies from Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital to the Olifantsvlei Cemetery in the south of Joburg got stuck on the M1 south in Braamfontein after a wheel came off on Wednesday.

Sixteen of the bodies were adults while 26 were still born babies.

The bodies were being transported to the cemetry in Eldorado Park to be given a pauper's burial.

READ: Open trailer carrying about 42 bodies breaks down on Joburg freeway

There has been outrage at the means of transportation used, with some of the public saying it was done in an undignified manner.

Stephen Grootes spoke to president of the SA Funeral Federation Dr Lawrence Konyana to find out if there is legislation on the means of transport used to carry dead bodies.

Konyana says a suitable or specially adapted vehicle that does no pose any danger to public health is required.

We have seen instances where people transport bodies on trailers but these will be enclosed trailers.

Dr Lawrence Konyana, president of the Funeral Federation of South Africa

He says however there are no legal specifications this makes it difficult to determine if the driver is at fault.

There isn't actually much, it just stipulates that it must be a suitable vehicle or a specially adjusted vehicle. There is no legal definition per-say. In certain instances in Gauteng there has been things put in place to say you must have a demarcation on the vehicle separating the driver from the contents of the vehicle.

Dr Lawrence Konyana, president of the Funeral Federation of South Africa

He has condemned the incident.

We definitely condemn it because we feel as a funeral director you must be sensitive to both the families that you serve and the public.

Dr Lawrence Konyana, president of the Funeral Federation of South Africa

Click on the link below to listen to what Dr Konyana had to say....


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