Foreign nationals urged to follow proper procedure when repatriating bodies of relatives

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The three coffins left at the Ressano Garcial border crossing by their loved ones. 

Dex Sibya

FOREIGN nationals living in South Africa have been urged to make sure that they follow proper procedures when preparing to repatriate bodies of their relatives who died in the country.

This follows a situation where three bodies belonging to Mozambique nationals were allegedly dumped at the Lebombo boarder gate on Tuesday due to improper documentation.

It is alleged that South African funeral parlour dumped the coffins and left.

However, the authorities in Mozambique confirmed that the bodies were repatriated on Wednesday after the documentation problem was sorted out.

“In the event where a person died in South Africa and need to be deported to their country, proper procedures need to be followed.

“In order to do so, obtain a permit for importing mortal remains from the Department of Health placing family members into contact with reputable undertakers, and obtaining quotes for the transportation of the remains and/or cremation and/or local burial, if so requested by the next of kin.  Provide information on local conditions and procedures affecting the deceased,” the Department of International Relation wrote on its website.

“It should be borne in mind that the manner in which someone dies can affect how the local authorities handle the case. In the event the deceased had travel insurance, it is recommended that the insurer be contacted first to establish whether the deceased is covered in case of death.”