Boksburg blast: 'This tragedy should not be used as an opportunity to steal,' Denosa warns govt

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A mourner holds their head in their hands during speeches at a service for the victims of the Boksburg tanker explosion at the Boksburg Civic Centre, 30 December 2022. A service was held for the victims of the explosion which left 34 dead a day before Christmas. (Photo: Yeshiel Panchia/News24)
A mourner holds their head in their hands during speeches at a service for the victims of the Boksburg tanker explosion at the Boksburg Civic Centre, 30 December 2022. A service was held for the victims of the explosion which left 34 dead a day before Christmas. (Photo: Yeshiel Panchia/News24)
  • The Gauteng government on Friday held a memorial service for 34 people who died when a tanker carrying liquid gas exploded in Boksburg.
  • Among the people who attended were Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell.
  • Tambo Memorial Hospital CEO Zenzo Ndabula said many of the wards damaged in the blast were back up and running.

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) Gauteng chair Simphiwe Gada has asked the health minister to allow nurses to wear black next week in memory of those who died in the Christmas Eve blast in Boksburg.

Gada spoke at the Boksburg Civic Centre on Friday at the memorial service for 34 people who died in the gas tanker explosion. He lauded Tambo Memorial Hospital healthcare workers who died in the explosion.

"We pay tribute to all those who died in uniform. They are not just numbers. This is not just a loss for the hospital but to all of us," he said.

Gada urged healthcare workers to seek psychosocial help, adding that the hospital and its surroundings resembled a war zone.

He also used the opportunity to make a statement about corruption by health department officials.

"The damage to infrastructure should not be an opportunity for looting, as we've seen at Charlotte Maxeke [Hospital]. Already we have a call for R18 million to fix the hospital. This tragedy should not be used as an opportunity to steal."

He was responding to a comment by Gauteng Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development MEC Lebogang Maile that an initial estimate of the damage amounted to R18 million.

Mourning families applauded his comments.

In addressing Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell, Gada said:

We see trucks driving dangerous goods in residential areas. Roadblocks should not be about checking for alcohol but about safety – the safety of citizens.

Tambo Memorial CEO Zenzo Ndabula said many of the wards damaged in the blast were back up and running. These included the antenatal ward, which had its windows blown out, and the operating theatre, which would serve non-critical patients.

The accident and emergency ward is still in disrepair.



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