Fatal fire: warnings ‘ignored’
Evidence is piling up that the Gauteng provincial government allegedly wilfully ignored multiple warnings and protests that the Bank of Lisbon building was unsafe, according to the DA.
In a press release yesterday, shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom said Gauteng health department staff staged a large demonstration outside the building in November 2015.
He said he had warned at the time that their grievances were valid and should have been addressed long ago.
“Unions also complained at various times, but were brushed aside and even victimised for raising safety issues,” said Bloom.
He said it had emerged before the fire that at least 10 of the building’s 24 floors were non-compliant and should have been evacuated.
The lack of water had also been a major factor that hindered firefighters and contributed to the deaths of three firemen.
They were laid to rest yesterday.
“A judicial commission of inquiry is needed to give a truly independent assessment of all the warnings that were ignored, very much like the Esidimeni disaster in which 144 mental health patients lost their lives,” said Bloom.
“It is already clear, however, that Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo and Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa were inexcusably delinquent in this matter, and should resign or be fired by Premier David Makhura.” – ANA
Unions complained, but were brushed aside and even victimised for raising safety issues.
Jack Bloom Gauteng shadow MEC for health