Over 30 bodies remain unidentified as hearings into deadly Joburg CBD blaze kick off

todayOctober 26, 2023 52

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Gauteng Health says out of the more than 70 people who died when Usindiso Building caught fire in the Johannesburg CBD recently, only 43 bodies have been positively identified.

The update came on the eve of the hearings into the deadly blaze, which kick off today.

On the last day of August, 76 people tragically died after the building, which had been turned into an informal settlement at Corner Alberts and Delvers streets, caught fire.

Body parts of were also found at the scene, which brought the number of those found deceased at the scene to 77.

Gauteng Health Department’s Motalatale Modiba says those who were burnt beyond recognition were identified through positive DNAs and fingerprints.


The department has reiterated its appeal to citizens who might have known anyone who lived in the CBD to come forward, as the search for the relatives of the Usindiso Building fire in Marshalltown continues, two months since the tragedy.

According to the department, 33 bodies from the 76 still remain at the Diepkloof Forensic Pathology Service mortuary.

Modiba says families who are looking for their loved ones can check with their office.


The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into the tragedy, Justice Sisi Khampepe, has on the other hand encouraged members of the public, who might have information or evidence that could assist in establishing facts in the matter, to contact the commission.

The public hearings will be held in Parktown.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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