With a daily increase in murders on the Cape Flats, existing mortuaries will not be able to accommodate many bodies in years to come. Meanwhile, even though the government is spending R281 million on an Observatory mortuary that is almost double the size of the mortuary in Salt River, it will still not be big enough, Professor Lorna Martin, head of the forensic pathology service in the Western Cape told the media during a tour in the new building.
“Even though this is new and we are moving in, it’s already not big enough. With the increase of murders that we’ve now had lately, I don’t think we will cope. We are working very hard to ensure that we do have enough human resources to staff this. But there is a risk because there are always budgetary constraints,” she explained.
Over 1,200 murder victims arrived at Cape Town mortuaries between January and April this year. In the past week, the state mortuaries in Salt River and Tygerberg had admitted almost 170 bodies, Martin added.