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Govt calls for swift probe into deadly Joburg CBD fire

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane made the comments at a briefing on the outcomes of the cabinet meeting in Pretoria today.

A firefighting crew assess the damage to a building in the Johannesburg CBD on 6 Septemer 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA – Government has extended condolences to the families of the firefighters killed in Johannesburg on Wednesday and called for a speedy investigation into the state of government buildings.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane made the comments at a briefing on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting in Pretoria on Thursday.

A fireman fell to his death, another died of smoke inhalation while a third is believed to have succumbed to burn wounds.

Mokonyane says that Cabinet is concerned about those affected by this tragedy.

"On behalf of South African government, we wish to extend our sincere condolences to the families of the firefighters who lost their lives whilst trying to extinguish fire in Gauteng.

"We wish a speedy recovery to those that have been admitted in different hospitals in Gauteng."

She says Cabinet has called for a swift investigation.

"We do also hope that through Minister Thulas Nxesi we’d be able to ensure that we get an updated feedback on the status of the buildings, including what led to the fire that’s still ravaging the building."

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling for the resignations of Mamabolo and Gwen Ramokgopa, saying they ignored multiple signs that lead to the tragic incident.

DA Health MEC Jack Bloom: “We put it down a motion of urgent public importance. I think that Gauteng Legislature needs to debate this.

"We need to debate it because lives have been lost and as I said, it’s another Esidimeni, warnings were ignored, that’s why people died."

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)