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Unidentified Victims of Joburg CBD Fire Lack Proper Identification



marshalltown fire victims lack of IDs

In the aftermath of a devastating fire in the Joburg CBD, a concerning issue has emerged – the delay in identifying some of the victims is due to the lack of IDs. Sunday World reports that this revelation comes from the Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson, Motalatale Modiba.

On August 31, a fierce fire swept through an illegally occupied and abandoned government-owned building in the city centre. This building, once used by the apartheid government to control black lives through the native affairs department, was later repurposed as a shelter for abused women. After the lease expired, building hijackers took over, renting it to vulnerable individuals while neglecting rates, services, and utilities.

The tragic incident claimed the lives of 77 people, including 12 children, making it one of the deadliest fires in South African history.

Modiba highlights the challenge of identifying the victims. A month after the incident, only 37 of the 77 bodies have been identified and released to their families for burial. The identification process revealed that 16 victims were from Malawi, two from Mozambique, four from Zimbabwe, and 15 were South Africans.

However, the lack of documentation for many foreign nationals has hindered the identification process, leading to significant delays.


Also read: Auckland Park SABC Building Evacuated After Fire Incident

The police have initiated DNA tests, which will assist in identifying the remaining bodies in the mortuaries.

It’s important to note that most identified victims are foreign nationals, though further results will still emerge.

This tragic event in the Joburg CBD has been followed by another fire in Hillbrow, near the police station, which destroyed a building. This incident occurred three days after the fire at the South African Revenue Service building in the CBD. There were no reports of serious injuries.

Mkhulu Ibrahim Khoza, the director of the Shobo Elikhulu Institute for Spiritual Healing, emphasises the need for spiritual cleansing services to prevent further incidents. He believes these tragedies send a powerful message to the current political administration and should not be overlooked.


Khoza calls on civil society organisations, traditional authorities, and religious entities to act. He stresses the urgency of spiritual healers’ involvement in purifying the city to appease the angry ancestors of the victims and prevent future disasters.

The combined weight of existing curses and the high death toll in the exact location underscores the gravity of the situation. In Khoza’s view, spiritual leaders must act swiftly, drawing upon their knowledge and wisdom to protect the nation.

Also read:

Usindiso Building Fire Inquiry Suggests Death Toll Could Be 76, Not 77

Picture: X / zimlive


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