Human lungs found dumped in a field.

The association said they had established the lungs were removed during post mortems to establish whether the families of the workers qualified for compensation under the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act. Limpopo residents in South Africa have expressed grave concern over the number of cases where the lungs of dead mineworkers are being dumped in the veld.

CoffinThe post mortems were performed to determine whether working underground had caused lung diseases. Johan Rousseau, the association’s spokesman, said in the most recent case, lungs belonging to a mineworker were found in the veld in Thabazimbi, Limpopo.

He said the department needed to explain how waste was disposed of at mortuaries. “The department is in charge of monitoring the funeral industry. “They must tell us who monitors waste disposal and where it is done.”

Rousseau said body parts were usually cremated once a post mortem was performed. “It’s clear the organs are being removed to see if the worker did perhaps contract lung disease while working underground.

“However, over the 30 years I have been in this industry, not once have I heard of a family that has been compensated under the act. We want to know who removes the organs and why they’re dumped afterwards.

“It’s not only insensitive, it also poses a great threat to health and environmental safety. We have written to the department for answers.” Department spokesman Musa Zondi confirmed that they had received letters about the matter and were discussing it with the association.

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