9 March 2018

South Africa: New Presiding Officer for Grayston Bridge Collapse Inquiry Announced

Phumudzo Maphaha has been appointed as the new presiding officer of the Grayston Drive pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry.

Maphaha's appointment was announced on Thursday by Tibor Szana, chief inspector at the department of labour.

Maphaha will take over from Lennie Samuel, who has been presiding since the inquiry was set up in 2015.

Szana said Samuel had taken ill and was no longer in a position to continue presiding over the inquiry.

"I have subsequently appointed Mr PO Maphaha as the presiding inspector to take over from Mr Samuel due to the gravity of his illness," Szana said.

The section 32 hearing was set up by the department to investigate negligence that may have resulted in occupational injuries and deaths of people, Teboho Thejane, spokesperson for the department said in a statement.

Last sat in September

"This followed a 14 October 2015 incident which happened at approximately 15:25 and led to the deaths of two people and injury to 19 persons."

The Grayston Inquiry, which had its first sitting in February 2016, last sat on September 27, 2017.

It was postponed to July 2018.

The inquiry was set up to investigate, among other things, the responsibility of the client in terms of construction regulations and the responsibility of the principal constructor in terms of the construction regulations and as an employer.

Stakeholders in the inquiry include the Johannesburg municipality as the client; the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) as the agent, the Royal HaskoningDHV - an engineering company appointed by the JDA - as the engineering agent for the project, Murray & Roberts (MR) Infrastructure as the principal contractor appointed by JDA, Form-Scaff as the contractor appointed by MR, the people or person injured in the incident, the Engineering Council of South Africa and the National Union of Mineworkers, which is representing MR employees affiliated to the union.

Maphaha previously presided over the Tongaat Mall Structural Collapse Inquiry and the Meyersdal Structural Collapse Incident Inquiry.


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