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Fikile Mbalula must apologise to Joburg fire-fighters – Mayor

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Herman Mashaba has advised Fikile Mbalula to reflect on remarks he made regarding the firemen

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba wants African National Congress (ANC) Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula to apologise over remarks he made over three fire-fighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Simphiwe Moropane (28), Mduduzi Ndlovu (40) and Khathutshelo Muedi (37) were assigned to help extinguish the blaze which had engulfed a building in the Johannesburg CBD, which housed the departments of health, cooperative governance and human settlements, on Wednesday, 05 September 2018.

“On behalf of the city of Johannesburg I condemn efforts by Mbalula to impugn the memory of our brave firefighters by questioning their competence and training”, Mashaba said.

Mbalula had questioned the level of training that the firefighters had received.

Mashaba added that: “The truth that is perhaps not known by Mbalula is that everyone present at the memorial service placed the blame for the tragedy squarely at the feet of the ANC. The death trap that was called an office building saw our brave firefighters sent into certain death because the ANC did not care to remedy defects which made the building unsafe.”

The men have been hailed as heroes for paying with their lives in the tragedy.

One jumped to his death while the other two men died after being trapped inside the building.

Moropane is said to have been the first to die by falling from the 23rd floor of the building after running out of oxygen, while Ndlovu and Muedi died from lack of oxygen.

The fire was extinguished a day after it started.

An August 2018 report found that the building failed to meet the required safety and health standards for occupation, which has prompted many to point fingers at the ANC leadership in the province for failing to exercise proper oversight. The building was only 21% compliant with occupational health and safety standards, as opposed to 85%, which was the norm.

Thabo Baloyi