l o a d i n g . . .

the bank of lisbon

this webpage is best experienced with the use of audio



8 seconds in uneven numbers

I realized the distance I had travelled to get here.1

account of events

What is there to be known2: On Sunday 24 November 2019, at exactly 9.03am, the Bank of Lisbon in the historic city centre of Johannesburg is imploded in 8 seconds. A carefully orchestrated operation which takes a year to prepare. Surrounding buildings are evacuated. The base of the building has been lined with large tyres. That morning, the site resembles a stage set with monumental sails 25 meters high, strung across the entire city block to prevent damage to neighbouring buildings from any air blasts or ‘escaping’ debris. Fences block streets. Fire trucks and emergency vans are on standby. Police cordon off the area and smalls crowds gather at a pre-scribed safe distance, in the ‘green zone’. The building is charged with 2363 conventional mining explosives, nearly a ton. These are embedded into the building’s columns in exactly marked, predrilled holes - a structural, surgical procedure. Each column is wrapped several times with diamond-mesh fencing and layers of geotextile material which must absorb the shock and blast from detonation. Design and sequence of the implosion follow a strategic logic of demolition engineering: explosive-induced collapse. It calculates what forces need to be released at precisely what points for 31 storeys to fold progressively, to break up under gravity and deposit into the foundation ‘in the most compact form’. Impact cushions have been installed in the basement ‘to minimise ground vibration’.3

Elated anticipation is palpable that morning. The sirens start and the crowd grows very quiet. I first hear the building ignite, then see it drop. And yet do not know what I really saw. Dust clouds rise and expand with surprising velocity. Fine residue of built material quickly coats the streets, settles on cars and clothes, and enters lungs. In witnessing the implosion, a strangely symbolic, tense and spectacular event, what is undone?4

6 months later I search for the site on google maps to verify street names (I always forget): corner Albertina Sisulu and Pixley Ka Isaka Seme St. On the map, the building is still ‘live’ and marked as ‘department of local government and housing’. In this way, satellite signals extend the lifetime of the structure in a kind of seamless, automated present. The google location simultaneous shows a sideview of the building’s facade as it begins to collapse. It is this image arrested in midair that summons what has not been resolved: The cause of the fire which lasted over 3 days and the death of three firefighters on the first day of the fire. Investigations into building compliance levels and due processes were carried out by the City’s Occupational Health and Safety Unit and Johannesburg’s Quality Assurance, and an independent expert was hired by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to determine what led to the death of the firefighters and whether all procedures were followed by their teams on the day. A criminal inquest was conducted by the South African Police Service.5 Herein lies the offense: To this day, no reports have been released publicly and no crime or human error accounted for by those ‘in charge’. Affected families, firefighters and employees have no closure. For now, this vacuum is subsumed by COVID 19 emergencies, an unimagined recalibration of ‘maintenance’, crisis and systemic malfunction. In the process, the city’s uneven psychosocial fabric is reconditioned, effecting every resident, workplace, city official and medical personnel.

31 storeys amount to 108 meters. I read that the Bank of Lisbon was built in 1967 and completed in 3 years, the year of my birth.6 It is classified as a late 1960s ‘brutalist skyscraper’ –a weighty architectural style associated with post war Europe, and implanted as such in this place. It is defined by a conviction for minimalist, geometric design, clean lines and a preference for concrete, steel and glass, material associated with the aesthetics of the modernist 20th century city. Typically, the building featured a curtain wall, a non-loadbearing ‘skin’ made of prefabricated glass and aluminium panels, designed to regulate and shield the interior climate from wind loads, rain and the evolving heat of the sun.7 At the time of the Apartheid building boom, the building’s plan and technology would have been considered contemporary, befitting the image of a new bank. It towered over the much smaller, ‘Italianite’ Public Library across the road, which was built with stone in the 1930s. The immediate neighbour to the north is home to one of the city’s oldest daily newspaper and archive, The Star. Opposite from The Star and at an angle to the Bank of Lisbon, lies Luthuli House, headquarters of the African National Congress since 1997. Significant neighbors in the city’s organism.

I ask my friend about the Bank of Lisbon. He worked here in the health department on AIDS awareness campaigns in the late 90s and early 2000s. He says, ‘ the building didn't figure much compared to the media work we were doing’, in the face of government HIV/AIDS denialism at the time. Windows did not open, the lifts often did not work. The basement parking was ‘useful’ but ‘reeked of sewage’. He adds, ‘The MECs8 occupied the 23rd floor, one of them marbled the entire floor. Maybe they liked skidding and sliding. The machinery of the air conditioning was on the 13th floor. A dusty and dirty floor, like being in the bag of a giant vacuum cleaner. It did pump warm and bad air throughout the building.’ He recalls scandals of misspent money in the health department. My question puts him into a bad mood, even though he remembers ‘good views to the west of the city, a purple haze hanging over Fordsburg and beyond’. And watching a solar eclipse in 2001, when it was one of the few tall buildings in the area that was not bricked up.

Later that day, he emails me about a painting he did at the time: ‘The shape, lower right, is one of the health directors screaming while wearing a neck brace; then there's the lift, a confinement in which one could sample the foetid breath of fellow workers; the somewhat crushed cars represent the aforementioned basement parking. The tall grey figure represents a man I worked with who had been tortured by the police, made to stand on a brick till inevitably he fell off, for which he was beaten. He felt compelled to share this with me. The rest is too obscure to go into. Fire and implosion was too good for that building.9


On 5 September 2018 the Bank of Lisbon caught fire. It was not the first time this happened.10 At this stage, it housed several Gauteng government departments, including Human Settlements, Health, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. It emerged that the occupational health and safety standard of the building was 21%, effectively 64% below the minimum compliance level. It was not meant to be occupied, and did not meet the requirements for emergency rescue. This had been known ‘for years’ to the City, to the Gauteng provincial government, who owned it, and to the Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) in charge of ensuring that compliance was in place.11 Already three years before the fire, members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) had alerted management to issues of safety, but these were ignored.

In an interview with SABC News on the first day of the fire, Gauteng Deputy Secretary of NEHAWU Gracia Rikhotso described how shop stewards who had raised health and safety issues previously were suspended. When a sewage pipe had burst, employees were still expected to work, until the union intervened. In November 2017 a prohibition notice was served by a health inspector to halt occupation from the ground to tenth floor. He was, according to Rikhotso, ‘intimidated’ and ‘victimised’ by the Department of Labour, after which he was forced to withdraw the notice. She described how three days before the fire, unions had met jointly with management to finally address the hazardous working conditions in the building: Unstable electrical connections; very old and dirty carpets; windows that did not open and defunct air conditioning. Management initially acknowledged that the building was not safe, but took a position not to move from the building, without offering reasons. Union members signalled that one day ‘this will lead to the loss of lives’.12 It had been a month of their members not entering the building, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi issued an ultimatum, forcing workers to return. The union was in the process of challenging the ultimatum in the labour court. At the end of interview, Rikhotso warned that the state of health in Johannesburg was in crisis.13

As the fire ‘raged’ on, the MEC of the Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID), Mr Jacob Mamabolo, addressed the media to convey ‘sincere apologies’ on behalf of the provincial government, for ‘the tragedy’, for ‘the accident that has happened.’ The MEC noted that his department ‘had commissioned an assessment of health and safety of various buildings around the city in 2017,’ and a report had reached him a week before the fire. The Bank of Lisbon was, it emerged, one of 8 government owned buildings ‘below standard’.14 Mamabolo assured that he had started looking for alternative accommodation for employees at the building 3 months earlier and was already engaging potential landlords, ‘because the list of complaints was extensive’. The safety of staff, Mamabolo declared, would not be compromised, ‘We won’t rush workers into non-compliant buildings.’15

The MEC’s statements were instantly challenged by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA): ‘The MEC must not lie. He received a report a week ago clearly indicating that the building was not fit for habitation and his delegation told us on the 3rd of August that they would not relocate the officials.’ The delegation’s decision was allegedly based on their position that the building had been renovated and refurbished.16 With increasing media attention on the circumstances of the fire, and the fatal disregard for ensuring health and safety standards, Premier David Makura announced that where buildings were con-compliant workers would be moved to other buildings with immediate effect.17

According to media reports, the fire at the Bank of Lisbon started on the 23rd floor. Within the first hours, 1150 workers were evacuated. At this point ‘the cause of the fire [was] unknown’. MEC Mamabolo cautioned, ‘Fire can catch any building, including a building that is fully serviced and compliant, including a new state of the art building’. He added, ‘If it was arson, we wouldn't have known… We would not want to speculate’.18. On the same day, firefighters were called to a burning printing factory in Kya Sands early in the morning, as well a fire in South Hills near Lenasia in the evening. At the time, the metro counted 7 operational fire engines out of 15, serving a city of 5.6 million.19

Students in the City Waldorf residency opposite the Bank of Lisbon were evacuated several times over the next 3 days, until the fire was finally under control. They said, during this time it rained paper. The media later reported that ‘thousands of official government documents were destroyed’: Hard copies, evidence in court cases - ‘sensitive documents’. Health department's chief financial officer Kabelo Lehloenya confirmed that important data, documents and memos had been lost to the fire, including health negligent and corruption claims, critical case files ‘that would be at the head of legal’.20

record of fire

The 4th September, I left for work… On Friday we went to the scene.’ In a radio interview on 702 with Azania Mosaka in November 2018, fireman Isaac Moleko Bereng recalled the traumatic sequence of the day that began in the morning with a call from the control room and ended in the death of his crew members, Simphiwe Moropane (28), Mduduzi Ndlovu(40) and Khathutshelo Muedi (37).21

Bereng described how on arriving at the scene, he and a female colleague were tasked to first prepare and then take additional firefighting equipment into the building, to assist the first team of firemen who had gone ahead. 2 fire engines were on the ground at this stage.22When we went in, we asked the security guards, which way must we go?’ They saw office workers leaving, some were walking. The fire alarm was not activated and it seemed unclear to employees as to what was going on. One worker said, ‘It may be a fire drill’, another stated, ‘It is burning upstairs’. Bereng and his partner finally found the building’s fire marshal and officers at the lift and were told that the 23rd floor was on fire. They were taken up, and again tried to get information on the situation. The answers were unclear, ‘Maybe it’s an electrical fault’.

When they reached the 23rd floor, the officials opened the automatic glass door to the HOD’s office where some smoke was coming from. They entered, turned right and saw flames ‘gulping’ from the roof. Bereng concluded that the floor above was burning. He looked for the fire hydrant – ‘I open the cabinet, I see there is hose reel, I open it, no water. Not a drop, you can hear when you open it, I hear nothing. It has been long since it has been used.’ He asked where the booster connection was, a point of attachment to increase pressure and provide additional water to a fire hydrant system in the event of an emergency. ‘They just keep quiet’. He searched on the wall, located a cabinet and finally the booster connection: ‘I open it before connecting. There is nothing’. They turned to the stairs and found the team and platoon commanders, ‘the late Nldovu and the late Moropane’, descending from the 24th floor. ‘I tell them, there is no water here.’ They inspected the flames, ‘After that, we hear the door closing.’ The fire marshal and officers had left. ‘After seconds, the whole place is black, flames all over. It’s a magnetic access door, so we were trapped in that section. Everyone was running to each room, we cannot see, we’re just calling by the names. The room is filled with black smoke, you cannot see nothing, not even when someone is close to you.

‘But the flames are not there, they are above you’.

Yes, but now, remember, it is crossing. That side is a dead end. On the dead end the flames roll down, moving down. It seems like they were making circles… Mr Maumela was screaming, he was burning, he was burning. Already me, when that thing arrived, that black smoke, already I can feel that my hand cannot move, the left hand. We have gloves on. Intensive heat can penetrate through anything, because remember the only thing that fire is looking for is oxygen whilst it is circulating inside here. The heat is becoming intensive.

Firefighters will read the colour, behaviour and density of smoke, to infer the amount of oxygen in the air, temperature and combustion - any signs of imminent risk. Dark smoke, essentially ‘soot and carbon’, signals incomplete combustion and hence lack of oxygen.23 In the smoke filled offices and corridors, as the heat became unbearable, the team could not find an exit.

So we try to run to other rooms. And then we start talking, while we start talking the other guy went out of the room, we don’t know who is that and then we said we stay here. If we die, we’re gonna die all of us, here as a team. Mr Muedi was suffering with his beard. From there he was telling us, let us move out of here, because I am struggling to breath. That is when Mahlaba screamed at me, that the late Muedi had collapsed. From there I told them, guys ok, I’m going to look for a way out. They said no stay, we must stay as a team but I said let me go to find a way out. Then I opened 3 doors, the 1st door I open, it was flames. The second door, there was no way out. I went out the 3rd door, that’s where I found blinds, once I touch them I could see the light’. He called the others. ‘Mr Muedi, we were dragging him… Moropane he was with us, but he was so quiet. I broke the window, I went out.’ When he stepped on the ledge, he heard the alarm on his breathing apparatus (BA), a warning that that air supply in the cylinder was dropping.

With the window broken, oxygen was rapidly pulled into the smoke filled, oxygen starved interior. This would cause combustion to restart, adding fuel to the fire and heating gasses to dangerous degrees, potentially causing them to instantaneously ignite.24 When Moropane wanted to step out of the window, he was caught in a back draft: ‘It is like an explosion... Before that, I said to Maumela, please tell the guys that something is coming … because I can hear inside that something is coming….It seemed it went through and up, hitting him like that.’ Simphiwe Moropane fell 23 floors.

For a while, the flames burned intensely from the window, ‘but we hang on to the side of it. The worry was for Mahlaba and Mahlati, ...already they were running when the backdraft hit, they were down.’ When they managed to step out onto the ledge, they tried to pull their collapsed colleague out. An air con unit was blocking the way, they tried to break it but failed, while flames kept flaring from the opening. ‘It is like someone is chasing us away. That’s how it is.25

Bereng adds that they were misdirected to the 23rd floor, while it was the 24th floor that was really burning. ‘We fought fires, we see how they react, but if you look at the pattern, it was not the usual pattern’. The team was rescued from the ledge after 2 hours. He and another team member, Livhuwani Maumela, were taken to hospital for severe third degree burns and trauma. They only left the hospital 2 months later. Other firefighters and office workers were treated for smoke inhalation and injuries.26

Images of a severely burned hand after surgery and several skin grafts stayed in my mind. The hand was swollen and hardly resembled a hand. It would take 2 years to heal, a very gradual molecular regeneration process. In fending off the flames, Isaac Moleko Bereng and Livhuwani Maumela’s hands burned so badly they could not help carry their collapsed colleagues onto the ledge.27 The interview revealed visible and unspeakable injuries incurred, an obligation to recount in detail decisions, actions and interactions, the emotional labour to re-member three lives.

in service of

After the first day of the fire, a wind picked up overnight. It rained lightly the next morning and the fire appeared to be contained, then reignited again and spread to the 16th floor. The fire continued to burn for 2 days. Firefighting reinforcements from Ekurhuleni and O.R. Tambo were called to assist.28 It emerged that not every floor had protective firewalls, causing the fire to move quickly and contaminate emergency routes. Boxes of highly flammable condoms were said to be stored on some floors and service shafts and ducts for water pipes and electrical cables had been ‘stuffed with papers and cardboard boxes’, enabling a vertical spread of the fire.29 Foam was sprayed on the 12th floor to prevent the flames from descending further and the area was cordoned off. More media appearances by city officials followed, which mostly deflected hard questions and referred to the classified process of investigations into the cause of the fire, promising the City would ‘be looking at investing more money to capacitate the emergency medical services’. Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba already indicated that the structure of the building may be affected.30

On the 3rd day ‘the blaze’ was finally extinguished.

I always say, firemen, it’s like a hand of God. We are very close to God. Whatever that we do, God knows. We will continue though it is hurting. I am broken. I am terrified. But I will continue serving the society of South Africa.31 Fireman Themba Tshemese’s words were recorded during a somber wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the building a week after the fire. The media footage showed grieving families and co-workers placing flowers, firemen and firewomen kneeling silently to commemorate the ‘fallen heroes’.

The gravity of the event mobilised media and political parties around evidence, with increasing accusations of ‘neglect’ and failure of governance.32 Questions about competency and the training of firemen emerged, alongside concerns about their precarious, under equipped working conditions. At a memorial service for their 3 colleagues at Ellis Park Stadium on 12th September 2018, firemen broke their ‘respectful silence’ and vehemently countered perceptions of incompetence. ‘Lack of water robbed my brothers of their lives’ declared fireman Muzikayize Zwane. The team did not expect a government building to be non-compliant.33

At the same memorial, provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego of the EFF stated that ‘the trio died from action that resulted from corruption’ - the fire was no accident but ‘arson’. The party announced its intention ‘to launch a murder case against Premier David Makhura as well as the provincial Departments of Health, Human Settlements and Infrastructural Development.’ The DA concurrently laid criminal charges against the same MECs and senior officials, and submitted ‘an urgent motion’ to Gauteng legislature for the MECs Mamabolo and Ramokgopa to step down or be fired for their negligence. The motion was voted down later by the ANC.34

In January 2019, bravery awards were issued to the firemen.35 In February, the Bank of Lisbon fire was referred to the Public Protector ‘by a Gauteng Health Department employee’.36 3 days after the building was imploded, in November 2019, DA Mayor Herman Mashaba resigned and ANC regional chair Geoff Makhubo was elected new mayor on 4 December 2019. In my attempts in 2020 to speak with Isaac Moleko Bereng who had survived the fire, I was directed to the chief of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services, Mr Rapulane Monageng. I learned that no EMS employee implicated in the fire was allowed to speak to the incident, because reports of the investigations had not yet been released. They were ‘sitting on the desk’.37

Over time, organised labour remained the most determined voice in pressurising implicated departments to release reports on the fire and improve working conditions.38 The limits thereof, of small gains, further promises, internal politics and legal backtracks, speak of a sluggish disconnect and engrained opacity in governance structures – signs of disaffection towards constituencies and decrees.


At the memorial of his colleagues, Fireman Simphiwe Sibiya described the movement of the fire: ‘I saw the fire behave in the most strange ways. But if the building was compliant, we wouldn’t have seen such a fire. When I opened the electric shaft, I saw shocks travelling down. When I saw the electric shocks I said to my supervisor that we are going to burn alive.39 In an image of the building’s façade it appears as if the fire leaped over some floors. I try understand the physics of air flow in a highrise building in warm weather. In very simple terms, cool interior air descends, which would also ‘dictate where smoke will travel’. When lobby and fire doors do not close, it will open the channel for a ‘negative draft’, drawing smoke downwards. The ‘fire floor’ is equally fuelled by air descending.40

Traces left by a fire provide crucial ‘artifacts’ in fire investigations, and ventilation plays an important role in how patterns evolve over ‘the life of a fire’. A new or young fire may create a ‘plume’, leaving an ‘inverted cone pattern’ on a near wall. It will grow and begin to create columnar shapes on the same wall, a pattern with a ‘short life span’ which changes as soon as the fire reaches the ceiling. Depending on what starts and fuels the fire, its traces shifts through biochemical and spatial interactions, resulting in U -or V- shapes or semi-circular formations on walls, ceilings and floors. Patterns indicate how a fire may have moved ‘upwards from a doorway’ or diagonally from one room to another. Heat will impact different surfaces, it may tear open or ‘shrink’ carpets, creating sharp edges between burnt and unburnt material. Radiant, prolonged temperatures can cause aggregates in concrete and steel reinforcement bars to change their ‘matrix’, to expand or shift, leading to puddle shaped depressions in surfaces, a process called ‘spalling’.41

In the examination of the Bank of Lisbon after the fire, it emerged that extensive heat had damaged the steel-reinforced concrete on several floors, compromising internal structural support. The building was declared unsafe. A tender was established for the demolition process, and implosion was identified as the fastest option. The costs amounted to R 90 million42. The damaged floors required to be ‘propped up’ in order to stabilise the building. This was done by the same company appointed to prepare the building for implosion. A monitoring system was installed that would warn of any ‘imminent collapse’.43

It took 11 months to prepare the building for implosion. I watched this process from afar, and over time the core design of concrete columns and slabs emerged. It was a building process in reverse, undertaken with meticulous care and oversight. In the first months, desks, files, chairs, flower pots, computers, telephones and bins were removed. Each item was labelled. Accumulated daily life of three government departments emerged, and with it dust, carpets, footprints. Remains of burned floors and residue of years of office work and bodies were extracted over weeks, descending via a hoist on the exterior of the building. Concurrently, non-structural ‘infill’ was pulled out - drywalling and bricks, ceiling panels, windows, water and egress pipes and electrical infrastructure – a process called ‘soft stripping’. Because floor plans of the building could not be located, each floor was measured physically and assessed, remapped in elevation and plan to be gutted and cleaned safely. Column sizes and rebar strength were calculated. The plan revealed tapered columns, measuring the widest at 1.5m x 1.8m in the basement. Structural engineers approved what could be safely excised, including sections of the lift shaft and openings of columns. Care was taken not to chemically contaminate the city’s service grid during demolition; waterlines were truncated and sealed. Geotechnical investigations ascertained earthwork and foundation, to ensure the basement retaining walls remained stable after the demolition, to make way for future redevelopment of the site.44

seconds in hours

By luck, I met the manager of City Waldorf student residency opposite the Bank of Lisbon at the beginning of November. He was open to the idea to film the implosion from one of the student’s rooms. We were shown 2 rooms that faced the building and were allowed to review angles from the roof top. From here the building resembled a skeletal drawing against the city. On the 24th of November 2019 at 6am, as students were evacuated, we positioned 2 cameras on weighted tripods in a residency room on the 14th floor. The structure opposite, wired for implosion, stood at approximately 20 meters from the window. We pressed record and exited the building.

Additional Sources

Brits PJ 2012, ‘Assessment of indoor air quality in an office building in South Africa’, WIReD Space, 17 January, viewed 01 July 2020, http://hdl.handle.net/10539/11041.

Browning J A and Cindass R 2020, ‘Burn Debridement, Grafting, and Reconstruction’, NCBI, 22 June, viewed 01 July 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551717/.

‘City of Joburg has seven operational fire engines’ 2019, Southern Courier, 10 July. Viewed 20 February 2020, https://southerncourier.co.za/168211/city-of-joburg-has-seven-operational-fire-engines/.

Corbitt-Dipierro, C, ‘Fire Investigation Mythunderstandings’. Inter Fire Online, viewed 23 May 2010, https://www.interfire.org/features/spalling.asp.

Daniel D 2019, ‘Johannesburg fire: Government was warned of its ‘death trap’ building’, The South African, 06 September, viewed 02 May 2020, https://Southafrican.com/news/johannesburg-fire-cbd-building-government-warned/.

Dlamini P 2018, ‘Health Department’s serious legal documents go up in smoke in Joburg’s fatal fire’, Sowetan Live, 06 September, viewed 10 February, 2020 https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-09-06-health-departments-serious-legal-documents-go-up-in-smoke-in-joburgs-fatal-fire/"

Dludla S 2018, ‘#JoburgFire: Government to fast-track relocation from burnt building’, IOL, 06 September, viewed 23 Feburary 2020, https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/joburgfire-government-to-fast-track-relocation-from-burnt-building-16925973.

‘Joburg firefighters vow to continue legacy of fallen colleagues’ 2019, EyeWitness News, 13 September, viewed 15 July 2020, https://ewn.co.za/2018/09/13/joburg-firefighters-vow-to-continue-legacy-of-fallen-colleagues.

Lebuso , S 2019, ‘Nehawu protests at Bank of Lisbon fire wreath-laying ceremony’, News24, 05 September, viewed 30 March 2020, https://www.news24.com/citypress/news/nehawu-protests-at-bank-of-lisbon-fire-wreath-laying-ceremony-20190905.

Lindique M 2019, ‘EWN Exclusive: 213 Joburg Firefighters Suspended’, Eyewitness News, 20 September, viewed 15 July 2020, https://ewn.co.za/2019/09/20/231-joburg-firefighters-suspended-ewn-exclusive.

Madia T 2018, ‘Makhura under the spotlight again – this time for deadly Joburg blaze’, News24, 07 September, viewed 20 January 2010, https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/makhura-under-the-spotlight-again-this-time-for-deadly-joburg-blaze-20180907.

Mahomoodally M F 2013, ‘Traditional Medicines in Africa: An Appraisal of Ten Potent African Medicinal Plants, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol 2013, 14 pages, viewed 20 July 2020, https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/617459.

Maphanga C 2018, ‘Mamabolo prepared to 'take the fall' for Joburg fire if a probe finds him guilty’, News 24, 06 Sep, viewed 10 April 2020, https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/mamabolo-prepared-to-take-the-fall-for-joburg-fire-if-a-probe-finds-him-guilty-20180906.

‘Mashaba calls for reinforcement to deal with Joburg Fire’ 2018, African News Agency, 06 September, viewed 10 July 2020, https://www.africanews24-7.co.za/index.php/southafricaforever/fire-still-rages-johannesburg-govt-building-firefighters-take-break/.

Mkhonza, T 2019, ‘End of an ear’ – MEC Motara after Bank of Lisbon demolished’, IOL, 24 November, viewed 20 May 2020, https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/end-of-an-era-mec-motara-after-bank-of-lisbon-demolished-37885280.

‘Negligence to blame for Joburg fire’ 2018, SABC News, 07 September, viewed 20 January 2020, https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/negligence-to-blame-for-joburg-fire/.

Njilo N 2019, ‘I lost a hero’: dad of firefighter who died in Bank of Lisbon blaze’, Sunday Times, 28 January, viewed 05 May 2020, https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-01-28-i-lost-a-hero-dad-of-firefighter-who-died-in-bank-of-lisbon-blaze/.

‘No closure for workers after Bank of Lisbon building fire’ 2019, The Citizen, 06 September, viewed 02 February 2020, https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/disasters/2175713/no-closure-for-workers-after-bank-of-lisbon-building-fire/.

‘Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 [No. 85 of 1993] - G 14918’, Southern African Legal Information Institute, viewed 20 February 2020, http://www.saflii.org/za/legis/num_act/ohasa1993273/#:~:text=To%20provide%20for%20the%20health,of%20persons%20at%20work%3B%20to.

Okoye C J 2018. ‘Born a firefighter, growing into a hero’, The Citizen, 29 September, viewed 20 May 2020, https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/2015594/born-a-firefighter-growing-into-a-hero-2/.

SABC News 2018, MEC Gwen Ramokgopa visits deadly fire Joburg building, online video, YouTube, viewed 20 May 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvAvAMuez80.

Shange N 2018, ‘Inside the hellfire: If you didn't have a cellphone, you died’, Times Live, 28 September, viewed 20 May 2020, https://select.timeslive.co.za/news/2018-09-28-inside-the-hellfire-if-you-didnt-have-a-cellphone-you-died/.

Ritchie R 2018, ‘#JoburgFire: Workers say building was a ‘house of horrors’, Mail& Guardian, 05 September, viewed 20 April 2020, https://mg.co.za/article/2018-09-05-joburgfire-workers-say-building-was-a-house-of-horrors/.

Ritchie R 2019, ’EFF opens murder case against Gauteng MECs over firefighters’ death’, Mail&Guardian, 12 September, viewed 01 May 2020, https://mg.co.za/article/2018-09-12-eff-opens-murder-case-against-gauteng-mecs-over-firefighters-deaths/.

Simelane, B 2018, ‘Unsafe at any point – Government building in fatal Joburg fire failed compliance test’, Daily Maverick, 6 September, viewed 20 April 2020, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-09-06-unsafe-at-any-point-government-building-in-fatal-joburg-fire-failed-compliance-test/.

Simelane, B 2018, ‘Gried-stricken fire fighters demand R 4,000 danger pay’, Daily Maverick, 12 September, viewed 20 April 2020, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-09-12-grief-stricken-fire-fighters-demand-r4000-danger-pay/.

‘The aim and scope of the OHS Act’, The South African Labour Guide, viewed 01 July 2020, https://www.labourguide.co.za/health-and-safety/1446-overview-of-the-ohs-act.

Zwi A, Fonna S, Steinberg M 1988, ‘Occupational health and safety in South Africa: The perspectives of capital, state and unions’, Social Science & Medicine 27(7), pp. 691-702, February, viewed 20 July 2020, doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(87)90329-7.