Trollip “unapologetic” for helping firefighters douse blaze

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 15, 2016

Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader, and Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral candidate Athol Trollip, has said he remains unapologetic for helping firefighters extinguish a blaze in Port Elizabeth this past weekend.

His reaction comes after the municipality on Tuesday announced it would launch an investigation after he was pictured holding a firehose while helping to extinguish a fire that engulfed a house in the suburb of Windvogel on Saturday afternoon.

“The suggestion that the officials needed help could also send the wrong message as the team deployed to deal with the emergency was sufficient and if help was required, reinforcements would have been called for from one of the closest fire stations,” Metro Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security, Fikile Desi, said in a statement.

“Clarity is now sought if the Fire Brigade Services Act were transgressed as members of the public could easily emulate Mr Trollip’s actions by attempting to extinguish a fire without protective clothing and the relevant training while professional men and women are at the scene”.

In a rebuttal, Trollip said he arrived on the scene with no firefighters present, and decided to try and help by using buckets of water and hosepipes to douse the flames.

He stated that fire crews, although “extremely professional and efficient”, arrived at the scene some 15 minutes after they did, and that the complaint clearly shows “the ANC would prefer people's houses [being] burn[ed] down rather than people getting all hands on deck to help”.

“Any person who cares and sees a fire and possessions being burnt would jump in and help in any way possible and that is exactly what I, various DA councillors and activists did,” Trollip said.

“The ANC is so out of touch with the real issues of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay that they have laid a desperate complaint against me for helping. I am not sorry to anyone for helping save the lives and homes of my fellow Nelson Mandela Bay residents”.