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

He blamed the mall's collapse on 19 November 2013, in which two workers were killed and 29 were injured, squarely on design engineer Andre Ballack.  "It was the engineer," he said, when asked by advocate Ian Topping, for the eThekwini Metro municipality, whom 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?  Because of your inaction, it led to a situation where the workers were not working in safe conditions," Topping retorted.  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, Topping revealed it was discussed that the building plans had not been submitted.

  • Read this report at News24
  • And also, Questions around old Tongaat mall design, at News24

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page