By A Correspondent- A weighbridge on the N2 at Somerset West in the Western Cape was temporarily closed after traffic officers discovered an overloaded truck was transporting a cargo of corpses.
The officers were conducting routine checks at the weighbridge on Saturday when the driver of the overloaded vehicle told them he was transporting bodies to the Eastern Cape.
Provincial transport and public works MEC Daylin Mitchell said the officers immediately closed the weighbridge and handed the scene over to the department of health and police for further investigation.
Health department spokesperson Mark van den Heever said the truck was transporting the bodies of people who had died from Covid-19 and other causes.
He said the driver worked for an undertaker and everything was in order. However, health department officials flagged issues relating to the state of the coffins which needed to be addressed when the truck arrived at its destination in the Eastern Cape.
A spokesperson for the company transporting the bodies reported that funeral undertakers were taking bodies to Gqeberha as local crematoriums in Cape Town were unable to process the large volume of corpses.
The company that organised the transportation of the bodies said after the inspection by the authorities, another truck was organised, and both trucks were given a green light to continue the journey as all the coffins had the necessary paperwork.
Police spokesperson Col Andrè Traut said the truck was released after a preliminary investigation. “An inquiry was registered to look into the circumstances surrounding the matter,” said Traut.
The weighbridge was reopened at 6pm on Saturday