Fa­tal fire: warn­ings ‘ig­nored’

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

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

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