File Picture: An explosion took place at Denel in Somerset,police,fire engens and police were called to assist and there are also reports of injured people. Photograph:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA
File Picture: An explosion took place at Denel in Somerset,police,fire engens and police were called to assist and there are also reports of injured people. Photograph:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Denel explosion inquiry resumes today after four month break

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Oct 19, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - The Department of Employment and Labour’s public commission of inquiry into the fatal 2018 explosion at Cape Town's Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM) is set to resume in Cape Town today following an adjournment in May.

During the commission hearings at the Macassar Civic Centre in May, 13 witnesses were cross-examined, and the evidence gathering exercise was completed a day ahead of schedule.

During those hearings, safety and environment manager Thembeka Ganda said that because no employees at the accessing facility at the time of the explosion survived, some assumptions had to be made based on the available evidence, and as such, exactly what happened would never be known with 100% certainty.

The eight fatalities of the explosion were: team leader Stevon Isaacs, 51, operators Mxolisi Sigadla, 40, Bradley Tandy, 19, Jamie Haydricks, 24, Jason Hartzenberg, 22, Triston David, 22, and Thandolwethu Mankayi, 27, as well as factory supervisor Nico Samuels, 41.

This time around, the hearings will be held at Community House in Salt River from 9am to 4:30pm daily until Thursday, October 22, and 17 witnesses are lined up to give evidence.

Chairing the inquiry is the department’s Presiding Inspector, Mphumzi Dyulete, who said: “The commission will hear testimony from all interested parties as to what transpired during that fatal day.

“Once the commission of inquiry has established what had happened, it will compile a report and send recommendations to the department’s Chief Inspector, who, in turn, will hand over the report to the NPA for consideration,” said Dyulete.

Department spokesperson Mapula Tloubatla said: “Interested parties in the inquiry include: the employer, employees, organised labour, family members and the department itself.”

Share this article: