Rheinmetall Denel Munition inquiry concludes evidence gathering


The inquiry into the fatal Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) on Wednesday completed its evidence gathering exercise, the Department of Employment and Labour has announced.

In a statement, the department said the inquiry moved faster than expected after one witness declined due to a COVID-19 scare, while another would only be available on Friday.

“The attorneys and presiding officer agreed that they will interview them during the next round, which is set for 5 – 7 July 2021,” the department said.

The inquiry, held at Macassar Civic Centre in the Western Cape, had planned to sit until today.

The department ordered the establishment of a Section 32 inquiry to investigate violations of occupational health and safety (OHS).

The Rheinmetall Denel Munition fatal incident took place in 2018 at Macassar in the Western Cape, where an explosion at the munitions plant led to the deaths of eight workers and injury to one worker.

The mandate of the commission is to hear testimony from all interested parties as to what transpired on that fateful day (3 September 2018).

Once the commission of inquiry has established what 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 Prosecuting Authority for consideration, in case there was negligence.

During this week’s evidence gathering session, which started on Monday, a total of 13 witnesses testified before the commission chaired by Mphumzi Dyulete.

A total of no less than 27 witnesses are lined-up to testify before the Section 32 inquiry.

The department said interested parties in the inquiry include the employer, employees, organised labour, family members and the Department of Employment and Labour.