THE Nyanga community was left shocked after an undertaker took back the body it picked up over the weekend.

Noloyiso Mabija (42) said a homeless man died in front of their house on Saturday.

“He was sleeping everywhere. On Saturday he just died while sitting on the chair. Since we’re staying next to the police station we went there to report it,” said Noloyiso.

According to her, ambulance workers and police said the deceased must be under his father’s undertaker.

“We were panicking and thought the family of the homeless man would come forward to take the body but they didn’t,” she said.

On Monday, they were shocked when the undertaker brought the body back to where they found it.

“I ran away but came back because I thought of my father and I didn’t want to leave him. I came back and the body of the deceased who died on Saturday was back,” said Noloyiso.

She said they don’t blame the undertaker but the ambulance workers and police who advised them to take the body.

“We all know how these undertakers work. There was no way they were going to keep someone who doesn’t have a family or an ID,” she said.

She said the incident traumatised everyone.

Photo: Lulekwa Mbadamane.
Photo: Lulekwa Mbadamane.

“It feels like I’m dreaming, I’ve never seen a body that was in a mortuary taken back to a place where they died.”

Ntomboxolo Buqa, a street committee member, said when they received a call explaining the incident she didn’t believe it.

“It’s the first time that we’re experiencing something like this. I’ve never seen or heard about this,” said Ntomboxolo.

She said they were shocked because the body was not supposed to be taken by the undertaker in the first place.

“The ambulance people and police took advantage of the situation. They knew the person who was visited by the deceased is old and would agree to anything.”

Ntomboxolo said cops should have organised everything on the first day the body was supposed to go straight to Salt River and be registered as unknown.

“The employees who had to make sure the body was taken to the right place failed the old man, and the body was dumped,” she said.

While Daily Sun was still on the scene the same undertaker who brought the deceased back came to fetch the body again.

“I’m happy they came back to fetch the body. We thank the undertaker that he came back and took the body,” said Ntomboxolo.

Brigadier Vuyisile Ncatha said police would never advise residents to do that.

“The social workers should assist in locating the deceased family. It’s not our job to do so,” said Ncatha.