Inquiry finds City of Joburg liable for Usindiso fire deaths

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The Khampepe Commission of Inquiry into the Usindiso building fire in Johannesburg has found that the City of Johannesburg and its entities are liable for the deaths of 77 residents.

Justice Sisi Khampepe released her report earlier today, following months of hearings.

The blaze which ravaged the building in August last year, led to the deaths of 77 people, mostly foreign nationals and left scores of others injured and displaced.

Khampepe says the inquiry also found that the City breached its own bylaws.

She says, “The City of Johannesburg and JPC (Johannesburg Property Company) never attended to repairs and maintenance of the building. The Usindiso Building showed signs of disrepair and danger to life and property. It became liable to be demolished within the meaning of Section 12 of the Building Standards Acts of 1977 and the report also finds that there were contraventions of the city by-laws by the city.”

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