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Firemen's memorial: 'City of Joburg to intensify raids on hijacked buildings'

Mayor Herman Mashaba says the building which caught fire needs to be closely looked at and, depending on the outcome of that probe, it may need to be demolished.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba speaks at the memorial service of the three firefighters who died in last week’s blaze at the Lisbon Building in Johannesburg CBD. Picture: @CityofJoburgZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg says it stands firmly behind the families of the three firefighters who died in last week’s blaze at the Lisbon Building in Johannesburg CBD.

A memorial service for the fallen fireman is being held at the Ellis Park Arena in downtown Johannesburg.

Earlier union members took to the podium to highlight the dismal conditions that firefighters work under.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says he shares the pain of the three families who've lost their loved ones.

The mayor says the building which caught fire needs to be closely looked at and, depending on the outcome of that probe, it may need to be demolished.

Mashaba says the deaths of these firefighters could have been avoided.

“And to the families in particular, as the City of Johannesburg, we send our sincere condolences.”

He says in light of this tragedy the city will intensify its raids on hijacked buildings.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters have opened cases of murder against the premier’s office, the Gauteng MECs for Health, Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development.

GALLERY: JHB firefighters bid farewell to 3 fallen colleagues

DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS

It’s been an emotional day for the families, colleagues and friends of the three firemen.

Investigations have been launched into the cause of the blaze.

Mashaba says if highjacked and dilapidated buildings continue to go unchecked, there will be dire consequences.

The mayor says last week’s tragedy happened because the Lisbon Bank building clearly didn’t meet the correct safety standards.

The mayor says while firefighters often have to work in dangerous conditions, they need to be well equipped in order to work effectively.

The Economic Freedom Fighters Gauteng spokesperson Mandisa Mashigo also spoke at this memorial.

She told mourners the African National Congress has failed the people of the province.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)