Pictures of the fallen firefighters displayed at the memorial service. Picture: Sthembiso Sithole

Johannesburg - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said the death of three firefighters at the Bank of Lisbon Building could have been avoided. 

Vavi was amongst hundreds of mourners who gathered at Ellis Park Arena for the official memorial service for the fallen heroes. Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba was also one of the many who attended the ceremony. 

Simphiwe Moropane, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi died at the Bank of Lisbon Building in the Joburg CBD last week. They had rushed there after a fire broke out on the 23rd floor.

“What is making us angry is that this thing shouldn’t have happened. The building didn’t have fire extinguishers. How can people work in such a building? We are going to sue them,” Vavi said. 

The event started with a wreath-laying ceremony outside the building that claimed the men's lives. Family members of the late firefighters also attended with some crying for their loved ones. Photos of the firefighters were placed next to the stage with candles and their colleagues celebrated them in song.

Businessman Kenny Kunene was also at the memorial service.


The Star