Inquiry into deadly Joburg CBD fire to start next week

todayOctober 17, 2023 151 1

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The Commission of Inquiry into Usindiso Building fire in Marshalltown, which killed 77 people in August, will begin its hearings next week Thursday.

Retired Justice Sisi Khampepe revealed this made during a media briefing on the Commission of Inquiry today.

On August 31, 77 people tragically died after the building, which had been turned into an informal settlement at Corner Alberts and Delvers streets, caught fire in the early hours of that morning.

Justice Khampepe says the probe will include investigating the prevalence of abandoned and hijacked buildings in the CBD.

Members of the public, who might have information or evidence that could assist in establishing facts in the matter, have been encouraged to contact the commission.

The public hearings will be held in Parktown, Johannesburg. However, Justice Khampepe says, in some cases, she might make an order that proceedings be held in camera.



The Marshalltown tragedy re-ignited the housing crisis debate in the country and the laws around evictions, which most of the time makes it difficult for authorities to deal with illegal building occupiers.

NGO, Rights Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), called on the City of Joburg to take the incident as a wake-up call to better take care of its buildings.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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