Simphiwe Morokane’s coffin is draped in the South African flag. Picture: Siphumelele Khumalo/Twitter

Johannesburg – The Oasis Family Church in Daveyton was packed on Friday with many mourners who had gathered there to say their last goodbyes to firefighter Simphiwe Morokane.

The 29-year-old man died last week while battling the blaze at the Bank of Lisbon Building in the Joburg CBD. He and five other firefighters were trapped inside the building that did not have an escape route.

Morokane broke the window but tragically slipped out and fell to his death. Two others men, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi also died. One was burnt while the other died of smoke inhalation. It was later found that people should have not been working in that building as it was only 21% compliant with health and safety regulations.

Speaking at the funeral, Acting Chief of the Johannesburg Emergency Services Arthur Mqwa said Moropana had indeed lived up to his name. 
“Simphiwe was a gift to us and we thank his family for lending him to us. He is in a better place. Firefighters don’t die, they rest.” he said.

Simphiwe Morokane, who fell to his death while he and other firefighters battled a blaze in the Joburg CBD.

Micheal Sun, MMC of safety in the City of Joburg said he had been heartbroken when he received news that the deceased firefighter would not be reporting for duty anymore.

“I am here today to say one thing to the family. We’re indebted. For as long as we live, you have given us a person who changed the lives of many,” said Sun. 

The Star