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MJC demands that Muslim bodies be released within 24 hours

They’re calling on the Western Cape Health Department to expedite autopsies.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is demanding a 24-hour release time for Muslim bodies to be processed.

They’re calling on the Western Cape Health Department to expedite autopsies.

To voice their frustration the council is currently running an online petition, which has more than 8,000 signatures.

Shaykh Riad Fataar, MJC second deputy president and head of the Muslim Cemetery Board, says they have had numerous meetings with the department to highlight the issue.

The Health Department’s Robert Daniels says in unnatural deaths, the law demands an investigation and post-mortem examination.

He adds the delay does not affect people who die a natural death as these cases are not admitted to the forensic pathology officers.

He says the forensic pathology service is under pressure as the burden of disease and violent deaths takes its toll on resources.

However, Fataar says Muslim families are waiting nearly a week for the release of their loved ones.

“Western Cape government we are calling and pleading with you, people are sad, angry and disappointed. It’s a crucial time for a family when they lose a loved one.”

The MJC is encouraging the Muslim community to sign the petition.

The council will meet with the department next week again. The department says it cannot guarantee Muslim bodies will be released within 24 hours in cases of unnatural deaths.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)