Inquiry into M1 bridge collapse postponed again

The matter has been postponed to Tuesday after an expert from building material company Formscaff presented new evidence.

FILE: This photo shows the scaffolding of a pedestrian bridge under construction in Sandton which collapsed. The bridge was being built parallel to Grayston Drive on the M1 on 14 October 2015. Picture: Arrive Alive.

JOHANNESBURG - There's been yet another delay on the first day back at the M1 Grayston Bridge inquiry.

The matter has been postponed to Tuesday after an expert from building material company Formscaff presented new evidence.

Two people were killed and 19 others were injured when the scaffolding around the temporary bridge caved in on the busy Johannesburg highway in 2015.

The inquiry resumed with the cross-examination of an expert from Formscaff.

The engineering expert has presented new evidence, relating to what may have caused the temporary structure around the pedestrian bridge to cave in.

The inquiry has experienced several delays since the deadly collapse almost two years ago.

The Johannesburg Development Agency's legal representative Willem Le Roux says the postponements are unacceptable.

“This is a very serious matter and proceedings have been dragging on unnecessarily.”

Legal representatives from construction company Murray And Roberts will now be studying a report after an expert witness presented new evidence in the probe.

They were taken by surprise when an expert from Formscaff presented new evidence while being cross-examined.

Le Roux says the inquiry cannot afford any more delays.

“At this stage, it’s close to two years after the occurrence of the accident. It’s undesirable for proceedings to be delayed to such an extend.”

Meanwhile, the inquiry's presiding officer Lennie Samuel insists despite today’s delay, all expert witnesses will be cross-examined by the end of this year.

Samuel says he took the decision to adjourn Tuesday's proceedings to maintain the integrity of the commission.