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Exhuming a deceased body

Exhuming a deceased body

Exhumation of both buried and cremated remains generally requires a licence issued by the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA).

Reasons for an exhumation

  • Movement from the original grave to a subsequently acquired family plot in the same or other cemetery.
  • Repatriation overseas to be buried along with other family.
  • Transfer from one cemetery scheduled for development to another.
  • Court orders requiring further forensic examination.

Exhumation licences will also contain certain conditions that have to be observed. If the person is buried in Consecrated grounds, permission from the church must also be obtained and fees paid. Occasionally cadaver certificates are required in addition to exhumation licences.