Two KZN families sue Health Dept after 'mix up' cremation

Two KZN families sue Health Dept after 'mix up' cremation

Two grieving KZN families have sent letters of demand to the provincial Health Department - and are claiming R25 million in damages after a "mix up" led to one of the families cremating the wrong body.

Keketso Mateke and Chundersen Maharaj

Chundersen Maharaj from Pietermaritzburg died in mid-July after contracting COVID-19.

His family says they conducted the funeral rituals without viewing the body because of the funeral restrictions in place.

The body was cremated and then the family scattered the ashes at Ansteys Beach.

They were later told by Grey's Hospital where Maharaj had been admitted that they'd been given the body of Mosotho man Keketso Mateke - and that -- that of their loved one was still at the mortuary.

The family held another funeral.

READ: Protesting funeral practitioners hit the streets in Durban

Mateke's family says he too died at Grey's Hospital and had planned to take him back to Lesotho for burial.

They were also not allowed to view his body even though he didn't die of the respiratory disease. They later learnt his body had been handed to the wrong family.

Lawyer, Theason Pillay who's representing both families - says they've all been left traumatised.

"They are besides themselves in terms of trying to determine what had gone wrong and what could of had been done to avoid the complete debacle that happened. 

"They are in despair and disbelief; just put yourself in their shoes. We have all attended family funerals, can you imagine going through the entire process and then realising you buried the wrong person." 

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