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Family and hospital in row over mother's corpse

By unknown | Jan 28, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Andrew Hlongwane

Andrew Hlongwane

A Mpumalanga family is involved in a serious dispute with Barberton Hospital over the corpse of their mother was given a pauper's burial.

Antonia Tholiwe Vuma, 57, died in the hospital in October last year but her family claims they were not informed about her death.

The family said they were only told about the death of their mother only after she had apparently been given a pauper's funeral without their knowledge.

Rose Vuma, 37, said her mother was taken to Lydenburg Hospital with a swollen leg.

She said the family were later told that their mother had been transferred to a TB hospital. She was later transferred to Barberton Hospital but died on arrival at the hospital.

Rose yesterday threatened to sue the Mpumalanga health department for failing to inform them about their mother's death.

She said her family was furious that their mother was given a pauper's funeral despite their full address being reflected on their mother's file.

Now the family do not know the whereabouts of the body of their mother. Rose also claimed that doctors issued them with a death certificate of a male.

The Mpumalanga health department promised to investigate the matter.

Department spokesman Mpho Gabashane said yesterday that information obtained from the files indicated that Vuma died on October 19 last year.

Gabashane said efforts were made to inform the family about her death. He said announcements were also made on radio stations, but no one came forward to claim the body.

A decision was then taken to give Vuma a pauper's burial he said.

But Rose insisted that the family wanted her mother's body found for a proper burial.


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