Alexandra fire appeal called off as 'unscrupulous' people accept donations

Alexandra (Leon Sadiki, City Press)
Alexandra (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

"Unscrupulous" people have been accepting donations meant for victims of the blaze that engulfed Alexandra, prompting the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements to call off appeals for donations.

"Our Disaster Management Centre is no longer taking any donations from the stakeholders and private companies. We are aware that there are certain people who use this opportunity to steal from stakeholders," deputy director general Keith Khoza said in a statement.

The department said that, although it noted that everyone had been assisted, there were people who were taking advantage of the situation by accepting donations of food, building material, blankets and mattresses.

Khoza said the head of the Gauteng disaster management centre, Elias Sithole, issued a statement thanking all stakeholders and citizens who contributed. Sithole said that the centre would no longer take the donations because the Alexandra operations had been officially closed.

However, it transpired that although it may have seemed that operations were closed, more people continued to take advantage of the situation.

"Any government official who will continue to request donations will be treated as someone who is abusing their power and we will call on law enforcement agencies to act and not hesitate to arrest anyone involved in criminal activities in the name of the department," said Khoza.

Last week, the Department of Home Affairs issued identity documents to victims of the Alexandra fire, waiving the required fees. 

Several shacks were razed in Alexandra last week when a fire erupted two weeks ago. 

Previously News24 reported that police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the cause of the fire remained unknown and police were continuing with the investigations.

He added that a case of murder was also being investigated, following the death of a man who was among those accused of starting the blaze.

READ: Man assaulted after Alexandra shack fire dies in hospital

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