Samwu denies blame for fire at Mangaung City Hall

2017-06-21 22:59
Firefighters attempting to kill the fire at the Bloemfontein City Hall. (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Firefighters attempting to kill the fire at the Bloemfontein City Hall. (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein - Samwu members were not responsible for the fire that engulfed the City Hall in Mangaung, its provincial chairperson Congo Matshepe told News24 on Wednesday night.

"We were waiting in the city centre for national leadership. While waiting peacefully, police dispersed workers by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades."

Matshepe said, after workers had dispersed, they noticed that a fire was burning at the city hall.

"The police fuelled everything. When police started firing rubber bullets, a few minutes later, we started seeing that a fire was burning."

Matshepe said Samwu representatives would meet with municipal officials on Thursday to assess the damages and discuss the union's demands.

Earlier on Wednesday, Samwu had planned to serve the municipality with their intention to go on a full blown strike. The union was hoping to deliver a memorandum with over 20 demands.

Among the issues it intended to raise was the dismissal of temporary workers who had been in the system for more than three months.

According to the City of Mangauang's spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, the city hall started burning a little after 18:00 on Wednesday afternoon.

Khedama said the municipality would assess the extent of the damages on Thursday morning.

At least three firefighter trucks battled to contain the blaze, Arrive Alive said on Wednesday.

The roof of the building had collapsed.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  fires

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