Saftu plans to sue Gauteng premier for firefighters’ deaths

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) plans to take legal action against Gauteng Premier David Makhura over the deaths of three firefighters at the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg.

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi accused Makhura of sending the firefighters to their deaths by failing to shut down the building despite knowing that it was only 21% complaint with safety regulations.

“We were told there was not a single functional fire extinguisher there‚” said Vavi‚ adding that all the fire hoses had also dried up.

He was speaking at the memorial service of the three firefighters who died while fighting the blaze. The memorial service was held at the Ellis Park Stadium on Wednesday.

Vavi said it was shocking that Makhura had allowed government employees to continue working in the building despite knowing that it did not meet compliance standards‚ adding that at times workers were forced to walk up to the 20th floor as the lifts did not always work.

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