South Africa

Families will be allowed today to identify loved ones who died in Jhb CBD fire

The Gauteng Health Department says families of the victims of the Johannesburg CBD building fire can visit the Diepkloof mortuary in Soweto to identify their loved ones from Friday.

More than 70 people were burnt beyond recognition during the blaze that gutted an illegally occupied building. The department says the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Services will use the digital fingerprint system to identify unknown bodies who have visible fingerprints.

And that bodies that been burnt beyond recognition and without fingerprints will be identified through a DNA process.

“From 9am to 3pm families can be able to come through. The service will be opened this weekend as well on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be counselling services for bereaved families. Family members or relatives who wish to come and identify their loved ones, they should have their original ID document and the ID of the deceased person or birth certificate. If the deceased is a foreign national, a passport, an asylum seeker certificate.”

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi says he intends to institute a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the deadly building fire.

He says the inquiry will probe the prevalence of hijacked buildings in the city and who must shoulder the blame and the real cause of the incident.

Lesufi says he will be working with the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola.

Lesufi has described the fire incident as one among the worst catastrophes the province has experienced in recent memory.

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