By Lerato Ngwenya
The Gauteng health department has launched an investigation into the occupational safety and compliance of the Krugersdorp hotel where two friends Ndoni Mcunu and S’phumelele Mnomiya died from a suspected gas leak while on holiday on the of April 16 2022.
Department spokesperson Meshack Magakwe has confirmed that the department is investigating the incident that happened at Cradle Boutique Hotel.
“We want to check if the Occupational Health and Safety Act was adhered to and if risk assessment was in place. Overall, we are checking if they (hotel) are compliant,” said Magakwe. He said the department is working with the two families and will issue a statement once it has completed its report.
Speaking on behalf of the Mcunu family, Nobuntu Hlazo-Webster said the hotel “has not been forthcoming in fact, they have been evasive and are trying to shift the blame to the heater manufacturer …Additionally, they have not once contacted the family, and when the family went there, after insisting that the police take us, the hotel did not want to take any responsibility for the incident”.”
Hlazo-Webster said the family was shocked when the lodge continued to advertise their Easter Winter Special on social media, “as if this incident hadn’t taken place, in the immediate day(s) that followed.”
Webster further confirmed that the post-mortem has been concluded, and points exclusively to carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of death.
Mcunu’s fiancé Philani Mthembu said he was disheartened when they discovered that somebody had stolen his fiancé’s engagement ring worth about R50,000.
“Eish but money aside, the sentimental value of it.”
He said he appreciated the media spotlight on the case as it was helping the family to find closure.
Mcunu and Mnomiya were friends for over 20 years. The two met in primary school.
Aurelia Nxumalo, who is the Mnomiya family's representative said the death of the two women left their left them crushed. She said “Sphume” as she was affectionately known, was an “exquisite individual and I have known her since 2001. Between us all, our fellowship has gone on around 20 years or more and she is an exceptionally obstinate (woman). Ndoni is as well”.
Hlazo- Webster said losing Mcunu was a loos not just to family and friends but the world as well.
“Ndoni was not only our daughter, but she also belonged to the world. She was a leading African climate change academic at the Wits Global Change Institute, an Oppenheimer Research Foundation researcher, one of the Top 100 most influential African Changemakers., We feel robbed and have more questions than answers at the stage.”
When Fray News reached out to the Cradle Boutique Hotel, the receptionist Elisa referred us to a man named Wesley who profusely refused to provide us with his title and surname. He said the hotel was were not aware that the post-mortem has been released and cannot comment further on the matter.