George tragedy: Survivor says thank you


The 32-year-old Gabriel Gumba, who was rescued from the rubble where a building collapsed in George on Saturday, is very grateful.

“I’m okay, I’m okay now. Thank you very much, God bless you,” Gumba said from his hospital bed.

He shared an inspiring message with the teams who by Sunday morning at 06:00 had already been on the scene for 135 hours. He encourages the teams to continue their dedication and hard work to search for those still missing.

The Tuinroete district municipality said in a statement that Gumba is recovering well in hospital.

“Remarkably, he suffered only minor injuries. He is doing very well, especially considering that he spent 118 hours without food or water. He had his first meal in the hospital and is in a good mood.”

Meanwhile, rescue efforts continue at the site. Another body was found at 02:30 on Sunday morning. The death toll currently stands at 15.

There were 81 people on site when the building collapsed in Victoria Street on 6 May 2024. Fourteen people are still being treated in hospital and 37 people are still missing.

The rescue effort adheres to strict double verification protocol to ensure the accuracy of the numbers. This is done in collaboration with rescue teams, hospitals and forensic services.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is expected to visit the premises on Sunday morning.