'We need closure,' say families of firefighters killed in Bank of Lisbon fire

Mduduzi Ndlovu, Simphiwe Moropana and Khathutshelo Muedi died in September last year while trying to extinguish the fire which broke out on the 23rd floor of the building.

Robert Moropana stands near the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg where his son, Joburg firefighter Simphiwe Moropana, died in a fire in 2018. The building is set to be demolished on 24 November 2019. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With final preparations in place for the demolition of the Bank of Lisbon building where three firefighters were killed while battling a blaze, their families said they felt undermined and disrespected.

Mduduzi Ndlovu, Simphiwe Moropana and Khathutshelo Muedi died in September last year while trying to extinguish the fire which broke out on the 23rd floor of the building.

Their families have so far only received a summary of one of the investigations into the tragedy.

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On Sunday morning, the building will be demolished by engineers after it was declared unsafe.

Robert Moropana stands in front of the Bank of Lisbon building not too far from where his son, Simphiwe, fell to his death while trying to save the lives of those trapped inside.

Moropana works in the Joburg CBD and said the building remained a stark reminder of how his son's life ended.

He's concerned that after this building is demolished, the details surrounding exactly what happened on that fateful day will never be known.

“We need closure, we need those reports so that we can understand what transpired since this building is going to go down this Sunday. We [still] don’t know what happened.”

Moropana said he was still considering whether to attend Sunday’s demolition, which the public will be able to view from a designated area.