Delayed report into deaths of 3 firefighters leaves families in pain

Thursday marks exactly a year since Simphiwe Moropana, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi died while trying to extinguish a blaze that broke out on the 23rd floor.

The families, survivors and Gauteng Health Mec Bandile Masuku held a special candlelit and wreath-laying ceremony. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The father of one of the firefighters who died at the Bank of Lisbon building has criticised the Gauteng government for dragging its feet to finalise its investigations.

Thursday marks exactly a year since Simphiwe Moropana, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi died while trying to extinguish a blaze that broke out on the 23rd floor.

The families, survivors and Gauteng Health Mec Bandile Masuku held a special candlelit and wreath-laying ceremony.

However, police have not yet wrapped up their investigation into what caused the blaze leaving many questions unanswered.

Robert Moropana has recalled the day when he received the news that his son, Simphiwe, had died, saying he first heard the news from the media.

Despite this, he refused to look at social media for confirmation but later officials from the emergency services confirmed that his son was one of the three firefighters who died.

“I received a call from my daughter-in-law that people from EMS came to the house to report the death of this boy.”

Moropana says he has called the ems and other departments countless times to find out when the report will be released - hoping to get more information which could possibly help the family get closure...

“I could’ve done over 100 calls from march [last year] up to yesterday just to find out what happened to my son.”

Simphiwe's widow battles financially and Moropana tries his best to help where he can but said it was never enough.

At the same time, Masuku said the Gauteng government was also anxiously waiting for the outcome of the report.

“Those who are responsible, should the report point out that there’s somebody who should be held liable, we will do that.

A plaque in honour of the three firefighters who lost their lives has also been unveiled, this will now be erected in one of the Department of Health offices as a reminder of those who paid with their lives.