Bushiri’s church where three women died found to be short on safety

11 January 2019 - 14:17
By Nonkululeko Njilo
Shepherd Bushiri's church was inspected by city safety officials and found to be wanting.
Image: Prophet Shepherd Bushiri via Facebook Shepherd Bushiri's church was inspected by city safety officials and found to be wanting.

Following a tragic stampede that rocked the Enlightened Christian Gathering church last month, an inspection by the city of Tshwane found the venue to be noncompliant regarding safety issues. 

This was revealed after a site inspection by the city's fire and emergency services department.

The stampede claimed the lives of three women and left dozens of congregants injured.

 "The Msimanga administration is to issue remedial instructions in the form of an official order to comply (OTC) to the ECG Church," said city spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi. 

The inspection found:

  • The escape routes leading to the escape doors are obstructed;
  • Escape doors to be used during an emergency are obstructed;
  • Insufficient fire fighting equipment is provided;
  • No emergency lights are provided in the facility;
  • No emergency evacuation plan is available; 
  • Improper storage of dangerous goods; and
  • A diesel trailer is stored inside the building.

"There was also no proper seating arrangement during the inspection. The department can therefore not comment on the population load. It was, however, noted by the number of chairs stacked in the halls that the population is perceived to be high during sermons," he said.

The city said an order to comply would be issued. 

"If after 30 days the requisite levels of compliance have not been met, it may result in a prohibition notice being issued which requires the occupier to cease any and all activity until such time as measured compliance is achieved," said Mgobozi.

Police spokesperson Capt Augustine Selepe said no arrests had been made following the incident but an investigation was at an advanced stage with results likely be released next week.

The city has urged the public to allow the law to take its course.

"In our endeavour to ensure a safer Tshwane we will follow up with in loco inspections to ensure the building is brought up to code and to avoid another such tragedy," it added.