Transporting a Body Back to Lesotho and Other Southern African Countries
Most people, when they lose a loved one in another country don’t know what procedures apply regarding transporting the body. The Government of South Africa provides assistance in carrying bodies back to their country of origin. The Government works in collaboration with representatives of Lesotho and other southern African countries.
Strict laws surround transporting a body between countries. One of these is that the body must be embalmed and sealed in an airtight container. Also, one must follow certain procedures according to whether the body was infectious or not. So let’s look at some of the requirements of transporting a body back to a country like Lesotho –
● Firstly, obtain a permit before transporting a body to Lesotho or any of the other Southern African countries. Before you can get this permit, you must provide the following information to the Department of Health:
– Then include a letter with details of the name of the deceased, date of death and the name of the relevant country, the cause of death and the place of burial
– Include an embalming certificate
– A letter from the medical doctor, indicating that the deceased never suffered from any infectious disease and that transporting the body won’t put anyone at risk.
– Also include a certified translation of papers not in English.
– Note: no permit needed for carrying ashes of a cremated body.
● You need the following documents for transporting a body –
– ID document or passport.
– The death certificate. And if the cause of death is unknown, the death certificate won’t be issued.
– An autopsy report in the case of an infectious disease.
– An embalming certificate. And if there is no embalming due to religious reasons, include a letter stating this fact.
Transporting a Body – Consular Services Help Out
Consular Services are there to help South African citizens living and working in countries outside of South Africa. Offices are in Pretoria. Tel: (012) 351 1000 / +27 12351 1000 from outside South Africa.
These consular services are represented in 103 countries and offer support to destitute or distressed South African citizens. They help with the return of mortal remains or ashes of deceased persons.
In Lesotho, find consular services at the corner of Kingsway & Old School Road Maseru, and with telephone number + 266 2231 5758.
If the deceased had travel insurance, however, then contact the insurer first just to make sure that the deceased had death cover.
Transporting a Body – A Small Monthly Premium eliminates a Pauper Funeral
It is always a shock to get news that a family member has passed away in another country. But if you do choose to use a funeral director, the services rendered will be subject to payment. People from Lesotho and some of the other African countries live and die in the country without an ID and family. Sometimes they are given a pauper’s burial which if free of any charge.
The South African Representative is always available to assist friends and family with making informed decisions about transporting a body, being acutely aware that practice differs from country to country. This fact will influence the process of getting a body back to its country of origin.
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