South Africa News

Marshalltown building fire survivors relieved self-confessed arsonist is arrested

Survivors of the Marshalltown building fire where over 70 people died said they were relieved that the man arrested in connection with the blaze was in custody.

The 29-year-old confessed this week during an in-camera sitting at the commission of inquiry into the Usindiso building fire, alleging that he started the blaze in 2023.

He is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Central Magistrates Court on Thursday morning, facing 76 counts of murder and 120 attempted murder charges.

The scenes that played out at the Usindiso building in August are still stuck in the minds of the survivors every day, and they described it as an unending trauma.

Several of them told the publication that they vividly remembered seeing several bodies scattered on the street hours after the blaze was extinguished.

A survivor, who lost his family and friends in the fire, said he hoped the alleged arsonist spent his life behind bars.

“I’m really glad that he’s been arrested but I don’t know who he is. We lost our families and our sisters because of him.”

The survivor sat on his bed at a temporary shelter provided by the City of Johannesburg as he shook his head in disbelief, more than five months since the tragic blaze.

-EWN

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