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Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
7 Oct 2021
10:16 am

Carletonville Hospital fire that destroyed PPE confirmed as arson

Citizen Reporter

A fire forensic report revealed traces of an accelerant, which was present between the equipment in the storeroom - indicative that arson caused the fire. 

The Carletonville Hospital fire in February 2021. Picture: DA

A hospital fire that destroyed R20 million worth of equipment in February has been confirmed as an act of arson. 

DA shadow MEC for health in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, said in a statement on Thursday this was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in the provincial legislature. 

Bloom said a fire forensic report revealed traces of an accelerant, which was present between the equipment in the storeroom – indicative that arson was behind the fire. 

ALSO READ: R20m worth of PPE lost in Carletonville Hospital fire, arson suspected

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no members of the public had access to the hospital, and Bloom said this meant the fire could have been started by an official from within the hospital’s premises. 

Carletonville Hospital fire arson suspicions confirmed
Picture: DA

R16.5 million worth of equipment being stored for the AngloGold Ashanti hospital, and R3.8 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) belonging to the Carletonville Hospital, was destroyed. 

Although a criminal case of arson has been opened, no arrests have been made. 

“I suspect that the fire could have been caused to cover up corruption concerning the PPE or the equipment meant for the Anglo Ashanti hospital. 

“The Special Investigating Unit has already made adverse findings on the R500 million spent on renovating the Anglo Ashanti hospital,” Bloom said. 

ALSO READ: Apartheid to blame for missing Charlotte Maxeke hospital plans

Bloom has also speculated that the fire which gutted part of the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg in April could also have been purposefully set to “destroy the evidence of corruption at the stores”. 

He said the ultimate victims were sick patients, who must now endure prolonged suffering. 

In addition, he emphasised that fire prevention measures urgently needed to be upgraded at all hospitals. 

Compiled by Nica Richards.