South Africa: President Mourns Loss of Lives in Fire Tragedy

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the significant loss of life inflicted by a fire in a residential building in Marshalltown, Johannesburg.

The fire in the early hours of today claimed 73 lives with several others injured; while at least some 141 families have been displaced.

In a statement on Thursday, President Ramaphosa offered his deep condolences to the families of the deceased and wished the injured survivors a speedy and full recovery.

The President’s thoughts are also with households and individuals who have lost their accommodation and possessions in this incident.

“This is a great tragedy felt by families whose loved ones perished in this awful manner, and our hearts go out to every person affected by this event.

“This incident calls on all of us, from the emergency services and other entities of government to community-based organisations, to reach out to survivors to help restore people’s physical and psychological wellbeing and offer all material help residents may need,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa hopes the investigations into the fire will enable communities and authorities to prevent a repeat of such a tragedy or to bring to book any culpable parties.