A 29-year-old man was arrested by police in Gauteng after he allegedly confessed about taking part in starting the inferno which gutted the hijacked Usindiso Building in August last year.
The blaze claimed the lives of at least 76 people who lived in the Marshalltown, Joburg CBD building.
“On Tuesday, January 23, 2024 a suspect was arrested in connection to the Marshalltown fire which claimed the lives of 76 people on August 2023 at Johannesburg central,” said Gauteng police spokesperson, Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi.
“The 29-year-old man was arrested after he confessed at the commission of inquiry for being involved in starting the tragic fire.”
Nevhuhulwi said the 29-year-old man will face a myriad of serious charges when he appears in court.
“He is expected to appear before Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of arson, 76 counts of murder and 120 counts of attempted murder,” said Nevhuhulwi.
IOL reported last year that the deadly Marshalltown fire which occurred in the early hours of August 31 would be probed through a commission of inquiry.
The fire ripped through a city-owned building that had been hijacked by illegal landlords who were renting out the property to over 200 economically disadvantaged families who needed accommodation.
The commission of inquiry is chaired by retired judge Sisi Khampepe.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, appointed a two-phase ‘politically-free’ commission of inquiry into the fire on September 13.
Earlier this week, evidence leader Ishmael Semenya brought in the witness whose identity has been concealed on the basis that his life would be in danger if his identity is published.
According to TimesLive, Khampepe ordered that the hearing be held in camera, but allowed that journalists attend the in-camera session – without disclosing the identity of the witness.