WATCH | Commission of inquiry into Usindiso building blaze continues

12 February 2024 - 11:50
By TimesLIVE

The commission of inquiry into the Usindiso building fire is continuing on Monday.

City of Johannesburg officials are expected to appear before the commission this week.

The blaze that killed 77 people has been described as abnormal by emergency services personnel who testified at the public hearings.

A woman who lived in the Usindiso building in Johannesburg when it was still a shelter for abused women says things started changing when the owner of the shelter left. Andiswa Ndlebu told the inquiry they had reported the influx to the police but the situation did not change.

“We were less than 50 women living in the shelter before it was abandoned. The owner left without notifying us. We saw the security guards bringing people in, at the time it was only women.

“They were renting the vacant rooms out. Then women who lived there started to rent the rooms out,” Ndlebu told the commission chaired by former justice Sisi Khampepe last Thursday.

She said the building went from accommodating 50 women to more than 400 people.