Today is the first anniversary of the explosion at the Rheinmetall Denel Munitions factory in the Macassar area of Somerset West. File photo: Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)
Today is the first anniversary of the explosion at the Rheinmetall Denel Munitions factory in the Macassar area of Somerset West. File photo: Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

Denel blast victims honoured with garden of remembrance, memorial wall

By Dominic Adriaanse Time of article published Sep 4, 2019

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Cape Town – The eight workers killed and those injured at Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in Somerset West have been remembered with the unveiling of a garden of remembrance and memorial wall.

The event yesterday was to mark the first anniversary of the deaths of Jamie Haydricks, 24, Bradley Tandy, 18, Steve Isaacs, Triston Davids, Nico Samuels, 41, Jason Hartzenberg, 21, Mxolisi Sigadla, 40, and Thando Mankayi, 25.

The men were killed when a blast destroyed the site’s propellant operations building.

The families of the workers and staff and supporters were invited to plant trees in the garden that contained a memorial stone wall, with a black granite plaque engraved with the words: “In memory of our dedicated colleagues. Your lives and contributions will never be forgotten.”

Pastor Adrian Manuel said at the event: “The families are feeling overwhelmed by the occasion and won’t be speaking to the media.

“We attended the ceremony at RDM’s head office and it was echoed that the families felt they did not receive enough support from the company.

“While they were aware of three investigations at the time, they have not been provided with closure.”

The Department of Labour concluded its investigation in June, and its report has yet to be made public.

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union said the report was rumoured to be released soon.

RDM’s public relations officer Ruby Maree, said: “We are still awaiting the outcome of the investigations by the Department of Labour and the SAPS.

“RDM’s own investigation (with external support) to identify the root cause is ongoing.

“We will share all information and be transparent about all finding as soon as the results are available.”

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