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#JoburgFire: Firefighters lay wreaths to remember fallen colleagues

The Star logo The Star 2018-09-12 Sthembiso Sithole
a person standing in front of a red flower: Picture: Sthembiso Sithole © Provided by Independent Media Picture: Sthembiso Sithole

Johannesburg - Hundreds of firefighters gathered outside the Bank of Lisbon Building in the Joburg CBD on Wednesday morning to pay tribute to fallen heroes. 

Wearing their uniform, firefighters sang and chanted while some carried placards demanding “Risk Allowances”.

The firefighters, who come from different regions in Gauteng, used the wreath-laying ceremony to address their concerns over poor working conditions. 

Simphiwe Moropane, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi died at the Bank of Lisbon Building in the Joburg CBD last week. They had rushed there after a fire broke out on the 23rd floor.

One firefighter died after slipping out the window and falling to his death, the other was burnt while the third died of smoke inhalation.

A firefighter who asked not to be named said they were there to pay tribute to their fallen heroes. He said one of the ways to do so was to tell the truth. 

“Yes, our brothers have fallen. It is our duty to continue the fight for better working conditions. We need a safe union and what we call risk allowance. 

“The firefighters who died here didn’t have that. Is that fair? No. So we are going to sing and raise our concerns before the official memorial service,” he said. 

Another firefighter called on the Gauteng government to take care of the families who lost their loved ones. 

“They must pay them. The kids of the firefighters who died will grow up without fathers. Their mothers are now widows,” he said. 

A memorial service for the three fallen firefighters who died while battling a blaze would follow at the Ellis Park Arena.

@SthembisoMedia 

The Star

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