The Gauteng police have confirmed that a 29-year-old man who has confessed to having caused the fire that killed 76 people at Usindiso Building in August last year is set to appear in court on Thursday.
According to media reports, the man who was arrested on Tuesday was high on drugs at the time of the blaze.
According to EWN, the man revealed this during the commission of inquiry into the Usindiso Building fire.
He told the commission, which was held in-camera, that he killed a person and then set fire to the body in a bid to destroy the evidence of the crime.
He said his actions are responsible for the fire that quickly spread across the hijacked building.
The witness is reported to have cried while giving his confession to the panel of commissioners, saying he had taken to praying ceaselessly for God to punish him for his actions.
The witness, who could not be identified, said at the time of the fire, he was high on crystal meth, which he said was given to him by a drug lord who he referred to as the “big boss” in the Usindiso Building.
The commission, which was established by the Gauteng government to probe the cause of the August 2023 fire, was shocked to hear the man’s confession.
Gauteng police through its spokesperson, Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, has confirmed that they have arrested a suspect in connection with the Usindiso Building fire, saying the suspect will be appearing in court soon while investigations into his role in the fire continue.
“He is expected to appear before Johannesburg court soon on charges of arson, 76 counts of murder, and 120 counts of attempted murder. Police investigations continue,” Nevhuhulwi said.
Meanwhile, Advocate Ishmael Semenya revealed during the proceedings on Tuesday that some of the statements by witnesses cannot not be used against them in court or during the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s investigations into the fire.