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Johannesburg fire: Survivor says brother died in deadly South African blaze

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As the search for bodies continued in a gutted five-storey Johannesburg building in South Africa where at least 75 people died, a survivor spoke of losing his brother in the fire disaster.

The area was still cordoned off on Friday, as resident Wambali Kaunda reflected on how he survived because the flames did not reach his first floor apartment but his younger brother had been killed.

Most of the victims' bodies were burned beyond recognition and investigators will have to rely on DNA samples from friends and relatives to identify them, forensic officials have said.

Wits University Professor Loren Landau said that the building — like many old buildings in the city — was a grim symbol of South Africa’s dark past and its lack of transformation. A sign at the entrance to the block identifies it as a heritage building from South Africa's apartheid past, where Black South Africans came to collect documents that would enable them to work in white-owned areas of the city.

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