Appeal for relatives of missing Joburg fire victims to come forward

Appeal for relatives of missing Joburg fire victims to come forward

The Gauteng Health Department is appealing to anyone who has not heard from family members who live in the Johannesburg inner city to contact them. This follows the fire that broke out at the Usindiso building last week, which claimed the lives of 77 people.

Acting CEO for Forensic Pathology Services at the Gauteng Health Department, Thembalethu Mpahlaza says so far, 40 families have come forward to report their loved ones.

“To the families, it is important that they must continue to come to the Diepkloof forensic pathology services for the purpose of identifying their deceased family, even if you are not sure whether your person was in that building or not. If you have a relative that stays in Johannesburg, especially in the CBD, that you have not made any contact with since last week Thursday, we encourage those families to come forward. There is a number for the department, which is a call centre number: 0800 203 886, where they will be assisted. If they cannot go through that number, there is another number: 011 355 3048. Our agencies are waiting there so that they can get assistance that they might need.”

Seven of the victims of Thursday’s tragic JHB fire were laid to rest last night in the south of Johannesburg.

Six adults and a child were among the seventy-seven who lost their lives when the Usindiso Building in Marshalltown caught fire. Family members have spent the weekend visiting the Diepkloof mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

Rise Mzansi’s head of Civic Alliances, Ifraan Mangera, supported the families.

“I think we forget that we are dealing with human beings. As activists, we need to commit to the goal of humanitarianism and ensure that we put people’s lives first before anything else. We have come out in solidarity, which is powerful; we must continue to build on that for families that were left vulnerable and on the sidelines of community as they were not prioritised in our conversations about national questions.”

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