Is it unlawful to treat the dead without respect and dignity?

  • C E Pienaar Kriek Wassenaar & Venter Ing


Two recent incidents led to the writing of this article. The first was an email from a colleague who wrote: “I just found this tweet about a nurse who allegedly took a photograph of a deceased patient and shared it with a friend on WhatsApp”. The tweet has a photo attached to it and reads: “Look at this old ugly person ndikusendela lento [I am sending you this] to give you nightmares”. The second was “Corpse shock on Johannesburg’s M1-highway”, an article in TimesLive written by Naledi Shange on 18 November 2017 when the wheels came off a trailer on the highway and some boxes containing dead bodies were dropped. The Public Safety Member of Mayoral Committee, Michael Sun, expressed his shock stating that the bodies were transported neither in a dignified nor hygienic manner and no respect was shown to the deceased and their families.

Author Biography

C E Pienaar, Kriek Wassenaar & Venter Ing
BA (UFS); BCUR (UP); LLB (UNISA); LLM (UP); PhD (UCT) Kriek Wassenaar & Venter Ing
Legal and Ethical Column