Public inquiry into Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s fatal incident set to resume this week
The inquiry by the Department of Employment and Labour to investigate events leading into the Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) fatal incident is set to get underway from Tuesday, 19 October – Thursday 22 October 2021.
This is the second sitting since the incident took place at the premises of Rheinmetall Denel Munition in Macassar at the magisterial district of Somerset West in 2018 where an explosion at a munitions plant led to the deaths of eight workers and fatal injury to one worker. The first sitting took place in May 2021 where 13 witnesses were cross examined before the commission.
Since the incident in 2018, Employment and Labour Inspectors continued with the investigation in terms in terms of section 31 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 and concluded the investigation in 2019 and the report was submitted to the Chief Inspector.
The Department ordered the establishment of a section 32 inquiry to investigate violations of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) thus appointing Mphumzi Dyulete as the Presiding Inspector. The inquiry could not continue in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
According to the presiding officer Dyulete, a total of 17 witnesses are lined up to give evidence.
“The inquiry is continuing this week and the commission will hear testimony from all interested parties as to what transpired during that fatal day. Once the commission of inquiry has established what had happened it will compile a report and recommendations to the department’s Chief Inspector who in turn will hand over the report to the National Prosecutions Authority for consideration,” said Dyulete.
Interested parties in the inquiry include: the employer, employees, organised labour, family members and the Department of Employment and Labour.
The sitting will be held at the Community House in Salt River (47 Salt River Road) from 09h00 – 16h30.
Members of the media are invited.
Source: Government of South Africa