- Mar 26, 2010
Tongaat Mall collapse: Three years later and still no answers
More at: http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/tongaat-mall-collapse-three-years-later-and-still-no-answers-8051145Durban - Three years after a concrete slab collapsed and crushed her to death, Zakithi Nxumalo’s family still does not know the truth about the events that led to that tragic Tuesday afternoon at the Tongaat Mall construction site.
The 28-year-old mother of three from KwaMashu was a bricklayer at the mall, which was being built by Gralio Precast, a company owned by businessman Jay Singh.
The R208-million project was being developed by Rectangle Property Investments, whose sole director is Ravi Jagadasan, Singh’s son.
The collapse also killed Zweli Masuku, 51, and injured 29 other construction workers.
“To date we still don’t know what happened because everyone became evasive when the commission of inquiry was appointed, but nothing came out of that as well because we haven’t seen the report,” said Zakithi’s mother Phumuzile Nxumalo.
In 2014 Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the mall’s collapse and it found several contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations.
Shoddy construction methods were blamed for the collapse.
The commission also highlighted failure to prepare and work from drawings, lack of knowledge to execute the task by supervisors and the use of defective materials, including imported cement which did not meet the SA Bureau of Standards requirements.
In 2015 Oliphant said the full report would not be made public but instead was handed over to the National Prosecutions Authority to determine whether anyone should be prosecuted. However that decision has not been made.
“We have received the report. The report has been assigned to a senior prosecutor who is still studying it to decide on a way forward,” said the KZN director of public prosecutions, advocate Moipone Noko.