“They died on the spot,” witness of deadly Joburg blaze describes scenes of victims fleeing

todayAugust 31, 2023 72

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Witnesses of the deadly Johannesburg Central blaze have described horrific scenes of mothers throwing their babies from a burning five-storey building, as they attempted to escape the fire.

At least 74 people have died following the deadly fire, which occurred at a hijacked building near Usindiso Shelter. Forty more patients are currently recovering in hospital.

Joburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, says it’s unclear at this stage what caused the tragedy.

One witness, a student who lives in nearby accommodation, says he’s been left traumatised after witnessing the devastating scenes.


Meanwhile, former acting Joburg mayor, Kenny Kunene, has slammed the city for refusing to clamp down on illegally occupied buildings.

In May, Kunene made headlines after embarking on a city-wide intervention to regain control of several hijacked buildings.

At the time, human rights organisations slammed the acting mayor for targetting poor people and launching “unlawful raids”

Kunene has slammed the government for its lack of intervention on the issue of abandoned buildings.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the scene of tragedy and has conveyed condolences to the residents of Johannesburg.

Written by: Naomi Kobbie

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