Grayston bridge inquiry: Candidate engineer refuses to answer questions

2018-07-04 10:50
Clean up operations on the M1 in Johannesburg around the time of the bridge collapse. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Clean up operations on the M1 in Johannesburg around the time of the bridge collapse. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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A former employee of Murray & Roberts who worked as an assistant to the construction manager when the Grayston bridge collapsed has declined to answer some of the questions put to him at an inquiry on Tuesday, saying he didn't want to incriminate himself.

According to a statement issued by the department of Labour, Oliver Aadnesgaard testified in Pretoria that he did not know of any person who designed and approved the drawings of the temporary structure. He said the drawings were supplied by FormScaff.

ALSO READ: New presiding officer for Grayston bridge collapse inquiry announced

Aadnesgaard was a candidate engineer at the time of the collapse.

He said the night before the tragedy, parts of the M1 freeway were closed.

When asked by Grayston bridge collapse inquiry commissioner Phumi Maphaha who authorised the reopening of the road the next day, Aadnesgaard declined to answer. He told Maphaha that he would not answer, in case he incriminated himself.

'I do not know'

Most of the questions posed to Aadnesgaard related to design, inspection and approvals.

Asked what caused the collapse, he said: "I do not know."

He said he also did not recall if any inspections had been conducted on the day of the collapse.

He told the inquiry that there had been no hint that the structure would collapse and that he did not receive any report of such a risk.

Two people died and 19 were injured when the bridge collapsed in October 2015.

The inquiry, which was set up by the Department of Labour, continues on Wednesday.

*This article has been updated following the release of a statement from Murray & Roberts on Thursday, indicating that those testifying at the inquiry are now former employees after Murray & Roberts sold its infrastructure and building businesses to Southern Palace Group in April 2017. 

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Read more on:    murray & roberts  |  pretoria  |  inquiry  |  accidents

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