SAHRC calls for investigation to Denel explosion

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called for a thorough investigation into an explosion which left eight people dead at the Rheinmettal Denel munitions plant near Somerset West.

It’s not immediately clear what caused the blast at the national keypoint.

The community of neighbouring Firgrove and Macassar say the blast could be felt in their homes.

In a statement the company says the explosion occurred during operations and destroyed the entire building and immediate surrounding blast walls.

Community members gathered outside the factory’s gates to pray for the injured and those who lost their lives.

Affected families were given trauma counseling until late Monday night.

“We actually heard the sound from school already. When we came the road was already full but when I got home, my sister actually works inside, so she’s the one when my mom called me to tell me that my sister was here and whenever this happened. So it was actually sad for us,” says a resident, Abongile Mantlaka.

Investigations are due to continue.

“Our hearts and sympathy go out to the family members of those that died in this accident. And we obviously ask that a thorough investigation be done and from our side we monitor that investigation so at least that the families not only find comfort and closure but actually find proper answers to what happened,” says SAHRC Chris Nissen.

The City of Cape Town says its received assurance from the munitions manufacturer that emissions from the blast do not pose a threat to the public.

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