Durban - The developers of the ill-fated Tongaat mall were fined twice for failing to submit building plans and continuing construction despite being served with notices to stop.
Two people were killed and 29 injured when a section of the mall, which was under construction, collapsed on November 19 last year.
Lungiswa Cemane, a law enforcement officer with the eThekwini metro municipality, told the commission of inquiry into the tragedy on Wednesday that she visited the site on May 8 last year and told the foreman that the construction was illegal.
“We showed him the contravention notice and told him to stop building,” she told the inquiry in Durban.
She said a fine was issued to a site foreman for R2500 - R1000 for failing to comply with a notice to cease building and R1500 for building without approved plans.
She waited for the workers to leave, but when she returned the next day, found them back on the site.
She then issued another site foreman, Rajan Haripersad, another fine of R2500 and waited for the workers to leave. The inquiry heard that the fine issued to Haripersad was subsequently paid.
After building continued she referred the matter to the eThekwini metro municipality's legal department. She visited the site several times and took photographs which she submitted to the municipality's legal department.
She sent a letter from the city's legal department to the developers.
The labour department's occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha was appointed to preside over the commission investigating the collapse.
The commission is expected to prepare a report of its findings and formulate recommendations. These would be handed to the labour minister and National Prosecuting Authority for consideration.
The mall was being developed by Rectangle Property Developments, while the firm constructing it was Gralio Precast.