The 29-year-old man accused of setting the Usindiso building in Marshalltown, in the Johannesburg CBD, on fire has confessed, once again, to a magistrate that he did indeed commit the crime.
Earlier this week, the man admitted, before the Usindiso Commission of Inquiry, to having started the blaze that resulted in the deaths of 76 innocent people.
Sithembiso Mdlalose said he had been trying to conceal a murder, which had been ordered by a local drug lord.
The 29-year-old said it wasn’t his intention to kill the other residents of the dilapidated building.
He appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today and the matter was postponed to next week Thursday for the court to verify his residential address.
Mdlalose has been charged with 76 counts of premeditated murder, 86 counts of attempted murder and one count of arson.
Civil action groups are calling on police to arrest all those who may have been involved in the fire.
Trevor Shaku, from Marshalltown’s Fire Justice Campaign, says while they are shocked by the confession, it at least gives victims closure.
Shaku says the allegations of the building having been a drug den are not surprising, as one former resident has also mentioned the claim to them.
Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa