Residents tell of faulty transformers at Joburg building where 74 died in blaze

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Joined: Aug 2017

“In our culture I can marry my uncle’s daughter. So my brother is married to our uncle’s daughter. That should help with identification,” he said.

Dozens of people were injured while 74 were confirmed dead after the fire that razed the five-storey building which is believed to have been hijacked.

The building was initially used as a shelter for abused woman until several years ago when the NPO which was running it was allegedly overpowered by hijackers. 

SowetanLIVE reported how the City of Johannesburg last did an inspection of the CBD building four years ago.

Acting chief of Joburg emergency medical services Rapulane Monageng said the building was inspected in 2019, the year it was hijacked.

“Before that could happen, fire safety would go in with other stakeholders from the city and make sure we tick all the boxes that the building is compliant.

“It was inspected in June 2019. We never went back to inspect the building,” said Monageng.

“We wouldn’t want to go back in there in a hostile environment. There were tussles [with building hijackers] in between and no one would want to see us come and enforce [the law] in that space.”

The metro said it had tried to evict people but was faced with litigation.


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