Tongaat Mall Building Collapse and Inquiry

dlk001

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Jul 29, 2005
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Iirc the engineer might go to jail for this? Don't you sign personal liability on projects as an engineer for something like 10 years?

I know Mr Mila's personal liability stopped a few years ago for the hydraulics on the bridges used when you get onto a airplane. Does this apply on buildings?
The engineer may be sued for damages by means of a civil action depending on outcome of the commission. He is a member of Consulting Engineers South Africa and should have insurance.
 

LazyLion

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TONGAAT MALL ALWAYS SAFE: SINGH

Durban businessman Jay Singh on Wednesday told the commission of inquiry investigating the Tongaat Mall collapse that the building site was always safe.

Singh blamed the mall's collapse on November 19, 2013, in which two workers were killed, squarely on design engineer Andre Ballack.

"It was the engineer," he said, when asked by advocate Ian Topping, for the eThekwini Metro municipality, who he thought was responsible.

Topping asked him what he personally did to ensure the building site was safe.

"It was always safe," Singh replied.

"It fell down and killed two people. How can you say it was safe?" Topping retorted.

Apart from the two people killed, another 29 were injured when the mall collapsed.

"Because of your inaction, it led to a situation where the workers were not working in safe conditions," said Topping.

Singh admitted that he continued with construction, despite having no written authority from the municipality for the building and the earthworks.

Reading from the minutes of a site meeting which Singh attended in his capacity as chief executive of Gralio Precast (Pty) Ltd -- the firm building the mall -- Topping revealed it was discussed that the building plans had still not been submitted.

Construction on the mall started in May 2013.

Singh argued they were working from plans for which the previous developer had obtained all necessary municipal approval.

Singh said he merely needed to change the name on the plans, which had already expired, and resubmit them.

"You knew very well that the plans in question are no longer valid and you chose to continue," said labour department occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha, who chairs the inquiry.


Source : Sapa /js/fg/lp/th
Date : 04 Mar 2015 12:17
 

LazyLion

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WEAK CONCRETE DID NOT CAUSE COLLAPSE: SINGH

The Tongaat mall was always going to collapse, even if the concrete had the required strength and steel bars, Durban businessman Jay Singh told a commission of inquiry on Thursday.

Singh told the commission investigating the structure's collapse that he still believed the poor design by engineer Andre Ballack meant the mall would collapse.

"Even if it had the full bars or the strength it was still going to collapse," he said.

The inquiry is tasked with investigating the partial collapse of the mall on November 19, 2013, in which two people were killed and 29 injured.

It is headed by labour department occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha.

Singh is the chief executive of Gralio Precast (Pty) Ltd which was building the mall.

The inquiry has heard that the beam that collapsed, called beam seven, only had seven of the required 19 steel bars. Many of the concrete samples taken from the site failed to meet the required strength of 30 megapascals.

Maphaha suggested that a column, identified as column 319, cracked, causing greater load on beam seven, which it could not support because of the weak concrete.

Singh maintained the problem was with column 243 which his experts had said was poorly designed. It was then that Singh said the mall would have collapsed in any event.

On Wednesday it emerged that Gralio may have been using old drawings while building the mall. Singh was ordered to bring the drawings his company used to the commission on Thursday.

Singh on Thursday said he had newer drawings, but because there had been no changes to the columns, the old drawings were used for the columns.

During re-examination by Singh's lawyer Saleem Khan, Singh said he had trusted his foreman Ronnie Pillay, backed up by inspections by Ballack, to ensure the job was completed properly.

Asked if he accepted personal responsibility, he said he did not.

The inquiry continues.


Source : Sapa /js/fg/jje/th
Date : 05 Mar 2015 14:10
 

ToxicBunny

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Fsck me.. just throw this shark into jail already... I've had enough of his lies...

How can he make any comment on whether it would have fallen down or not due to the concrete, is he a concrete strength expert now?
 

schumi

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Collapsed Tongaat mall to be rebuilt

Durban - The Tongaat shopping mall, which partially collapsed, killing two people two years ago, is to be rebuilt.

Developers who have bought the mall from the original developer, Rectangle Property Investments, say some of the existing structures would have to be demolished.

The R208 million mall project came to a halt after a portion of the building under construction collapsed in November 2013.

Rectangle Property’s sole director is businessman Jay Singh’s son, Ravi Jagadasan.

Construction was being carried out by Gralio Precast, a company which lists Jagadasan and Singh’s ex-wife, Shireen Annamalay, as directors.
http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/collapsed-tongaat-mall-to-be-rebuilt-1.1902334#.VdV5Vn2-Opo
 

schumi

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Tongaat Mall report to be release soon

Durban - A Department of Labour report into the Tongaat Mall collapse that claimed the lives of two people and injured another 29 will be released before Christmas.

That is according to the department’s spokesman Mokgadi Pela, who on Friday said: “The report will be released before Christmas, that I assure you.”

Pela would not be drawn on whether the report had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a determination on whether criminal charges would be lodged.
More at:http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/tongaat-mall-report-to-be-release-soon-1.1951924#.VlhsduIghhE
 

daveza

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Pela would not be drawn on whether the report had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a determination on whether criminal charges would be lodged.
Two years later and we haven't even decided whether anyone will be charged ?!

Then another two years for a court case ( if there is one ), some appeals..... justice is appallingly slow in this country.
 

Hemi300c

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It's all about the money and who you know. The contractor is a cadre.
 

schumi

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Mall collapse company get R79m in contracts

Durban - The controversy-riddled construction company, Gralio Precast, which is linked to ANC benefactor Jay Singh, continues to cash in on multimillion-rand tender contracts from the eThekwini Municipality.

This was despite the company’s having previously been chastised by government departments and the National Home Builders Registration Council for its allegedly shoddy workmanship.

Bimonthly reports on contracts awarded by the city in November and December last year reveal that Gralio scored a R74-million contract in November and a further R5 million a month later.

Both were for the construction of housing units in the Cornubia development. The reports were tabled before the city’s finance and procurement committee last week.

Gralio received the contracts amid continued delays over the outcome of the Department of Labour’s commission of inquiry into the collapse of the Tongaat Mall while it was under construction in October 2013. Two people died and several were injured in the tragedy. The commission hearing concluded in March last year.

A spokesman for Singh said Gralio had not yet been found guilty of any offence and would comply with the commission’s findings.
More at:http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/mall-collapse-company-get-r79m-in-contracts-1987242
 

ToxicBunny

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Unfortunately, as much as I hate it, the city can't exclude Gralio until such time as it is found guilty, and they also can't judge that event in the tender submissions either.
 

schumi

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Tongaat Mall collapse report to be given to NPA

Cape Town - The findings of the 2013 Tongaat Mall collapse will be handed to the NPA for a decision on whether to prosecute anyone, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Tuesday.

An investigation found contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations.

The report would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in about a month, for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Oliphant said the department would not take action against those implicated unless the National Prosecuting Authority decided to prosecute.

Two people were killed and 29 people injured when a section of the mall collapsed during construction on 19 November 2013.

The neck of a column exploded, causing the concrete slab it was supporting to collapse and crush the two workers.

The background to the construction was that:

- Rectangle Property Investment bought the stand on 263 Gopallala street in Tongaat in 2012 from Strathmore Property Investment Trust;
- Included in the purchase were plans not approved since its first submission on January 31, 2007 by Strathmore;
- In February 2013 an application to start earthworks was made. It was rejected on March 20, 2013;
- Because the earthworks application was rejected, the building plans could not be approved;
- Excavation work was already at an advanced stage on March 8, 2013 even though plans had not been approved;
- Gralio Precast appointed Axion Consulting Engineers Services as the design engineer for the project when it was under Strathmore;
- Rectangle Property Investment then engaged the services of Gralio Precast as an agent and principal contractor to perform all construction work.

The department found:

- The poor construction of beam 7 triggered the collapse;
- Piles for some of the columns had been overloaded and under-designed;
- A lack of supervision of construction work;
- Failure to appoint a competent supervisor for the construction work;
- Lack of knowledge to execute the complex, interdependent structure;
- Defective materials such as cement imported from Pakistan that did not meet SA Bureau of Standards requirements;
- Failure to prepare and work from drawings; and
- Poor construction methods.

Oliphant said she was not going to name anyone and would take the innocent until proven guilty stance.

Investigators found contraventions of:

- Section 4 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act because building started before approval by a local authority; and
- Sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act because manufacturers did not discharge their duties and the employer did not inform employees about safety standards;

Oliphant said amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations would make it harder for construction companies to get away with breaking the law.

News24
Source:http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/tongaat-mall-collapse-report-to-be-given-to-npa-20160524
 

LazyLion

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Do we have to go through a seven year court case and three appeals before the NPA decides to prosecute?
 

furpile

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Cape Town - The findings of the 2013 Tongaat Mall collapse will be handed to the NPA for a decision on whether to prosecute anyone, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Tuesday.

An investigation found contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations.

The report would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in about a month, for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Oliphant said the department would not take action against those implicated unless the National Prosecuting Authority decided to prosecute.

Oliphant said she was not going to name anyone and would take the innocent until proven guilty stance.

Investigators found contraventions of:

- Section 4 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act because building started before approval by a local authority; and
- Sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act because manufacturers did not discharge their duties and the employer did not inform employees about safety standards;

Oliphant said amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and construction regulations would make it harder for construction companies to get away with breaking the law.
This is complete nonsense, coming from a minister that obviously has no knowledge or experience in her portfolio. They don't need the NPA to decide to prosecute anyone. The OHS Act makes provision for fines and jail time for anybody contravening the Act or for causing harm (or death). That is the responsibility of the Dept of Labour, and the NPA can separately prosecute criminally if they have sufficient evidence.

From the Act:
2) Any employer who does or omits to do an act, thereby causing any person to be injured at a workplace, or, in the case of a person employed by
him, to be injured at any place in the course of his employment, or any user who does or omits to do an act in connection with the use of plant or
machinery, thereby causing any person to be injured, shall be guilty of an offence if that employer or user, as the case may be, would in respect
of that act or omission have been guilty of the offence of culpable homicide had that act or omission caused the death of the said person,
irrespective of whether or not the injury could have led to the death of such person, and on conviction of liable to a fine not exceeding R100
000.00 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment
.
So if the Investigators found that the employer contravened the Act, why are they not doing anything? Is the owner of this company another Gupta-like benefactor with enough money to buy who he wants?
 

Kelerei

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Cape Town - The findings of the 2013 Tongaat Mall collapse will be handed to the NPA for a decision on whether to prosecute anyone, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Tuesday.
So, we may as well consider this the end of the matter then.
 

Hemi300c

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So if the Investigators found that the employer contravened the Act, why are they not doing anything? Is the owner of this company another Gupta-like benefactor with enough money to buy who he wants?
Exactly this, cadre extraordinaire.
 

ToxicBunny

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Hopefully one of the charges that comes from this is Murder for the 2 who died and 29 counts of Attempted Murder (if we have such a thing in this country)
 
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