Former state pathologist who stole body parts to be sentenced

A former state pathologist is to be sentenced on Friday, July 19 2019.
A former state pathologist is to be sentenced on Friday, July 19 2019.
Image: 123RF/Thomas Baur

A former state pathologist found guilty of organ theft at a Soweto mortuary will learn his fate at the Kempton Park magistrate's court on Friday.

Dr James Blair Mwesigwa was found guilty on Thursday on charges emanating from 2013.

The Sowetan reported in 2015 that he had removed Alida Scheepers's brain, tongue, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, trachea, lungs, heart and pericardial sac and part of the diaphragm. 

Court documents obtained from NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane indicate that he "removed or caused to be removed certain organs from the body of the deceased and retained these organs without the permission of the family of the deceased".

Mwesigwa resigned from this job in 2015 after having reportedly drawn a salary of R1.54m while sitting at home for 17 months while on suspension.

He was found guilty on six charges, including theft, violating a body, defeating and obstructing the administration of justice, contravening regulations relating to the use of human biological material, contravening regulations regarding the control of human bodies, tissue, blood, blood products, and contravening regulations regarding the rendering of forensic pathology services, according to the NPA.


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