FILE – Firefighters pay their respects to three colleagues who died on duty when the Bank of Lisbon building caught fire last week. File photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).
FILE – Firefighters pay their respects to three colleagues who died on duty when the Bank of Lisbon building caught fire last week. File photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).

Third anniversary of firefighters killed in Gauteng health fire

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Sep 5, 2021

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Sunday marks the third anniversary since three firefighters of the City of Joburg died in an inferno broke out at the Gauteng Health Department’s Bank of Lisbon building in September 2018.

Now, DA’s Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom is complaining that there has been no accountability for this tragedy, and little information has been given to the grieving families.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has promised to give a consolidated report at the end of this month of all the investigations into this fire.

No satisfactory answer has been given for the delay in releasing the finding of the investigations that have been done by the SAPS, the City of Joburg, the provincial government and the Department of Labour.

“I suspect that senior ANC politicians could face criminal charges as a result of the fire, as well as officials who were negligent in preventing it.

“Immediately after the fire I laid criminal charges of culpable homicide against the then Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa and Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo for negligence in not setting up a functioning Occupational Health and Safety Committee for the building, and for ignoring multiple warnings from unions and staff about the fire hazard,” Bloom said.

He said it was important that justice was seen to be done, instead of long investigations that allow politicians to evade accountability and add to the distress of families who seek closure for the loss of their loved ones.

Bloom said the DA would hold Makhura to his undertaking that the reports would be made public at the end of this month, and will push for full accountability including criminal charges where warranted.

Last month, Makhura said all investigations would be consolidated by the end of this month. He also said that the aggrieved families would be notified first about the outcome of the investigation before the report was made public.

Political Bureau

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