Meyersdal collapse: Contractor refuses to answer questions

Errol Romburgh remained silent during cross-examination, saying he is ‘exercising his constitutional rights’.

FILE: The scene where seven people were killed in the Meyersdal building collapse in August. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A contractor in charge of a team of construction workers who were on site when a house collapsed in Meyersdal in August has declined to answer questions at a commission of inquiry set up to establish the cause of the incident.

Errol Romburgh remained silent during his cross-examination and told the inquiry he is 'exercising his constitutional rights'.

Three surviving workers testified earlier on Wednesday, telling the commission the company did not provide health and safety training.

Seven employees were killed when the double storey house collapsed.

A total of 17 construction workers who were on site at the time of the collapse are expected to give evidence at the commission.

Despite repeated attempts by commission chair Phumudzo Maphaha, Romburgh stuck to his guns and remained quiet.

Maphaha warned Romburgh that the law made it obligatory for the contractor to answer questions but his attorney Piet Pistorius stepped in and insisted that his client remain quiet.

"He will exercise his right not to answer any questions."

The inquiry is investigating what caused the collapse and allegations that some of the renovations at the house were illegal.

The inquiry is expected to continue on Thursday with testimony from an engineer, the owner of the house and members of the Ekurhuleni City Planning Department.

The commission is expected to sit for eight days.