South African Man Confesses To Starting Fire That Killed 76 While Trying To Get Rid Of 'Another Body'

He claimed that he was a drug user and was instructed to kill the man by a drug dealer who lived in the building.

South African Man Confesses To Starting Fire That Killed 76 While Trying To Get Rid Of 'Another Body'

The man is facing 76 counts of murder, 120 counts of attempted murder

A man has been taken into custody after admitting to starting a building fire in South Africa that killed 76 people. His motive was to dispose of the body of an individual he claimed to have killed under the instructions of a drug dealer.

The 29-year-old man's unexpected confession emerged during his testimony in an ongoing inquiry investigating the cause of the fire. The tragic incident unfolded in August in a downtown Johannesburg apartment building, marking one of the nation's most devastating disasters.

The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, revealed during the inquiry that he had killed another individual on the night of the fire by beating him and strangling him, as reported by South African media accounts of his testimony. Subsequently, he claimed to have poured gasoline on the man's body and set it alight with a match in the basement of the rundown apartment complex, according to The Independent. 

He claimed that he was a drug user and was instructed to kill the man by a drug dealer who lived in the building.

Police later said on Tuesday that they had arrested a man linked to the fire after he had confessed to being involved in the fire at the inquiry. 

The man is facing 76 counts of murder, 120 counts of attempted murder, and an arson charge, police said in a statement. 

The inquiry where he provided his testimony is not a criminal trial, and his confession was entirely unexpected. The inquiry aims to investigate the factors that led to the fire and identify any safety lapses that may have contributed to the substantial loss of life. His participation in the inquiry stems from his status as a building resident.

The panel in charge of the inquiry ordered that he not be identified after his testimony. The Independent reported that the South African media referred to him as "Mr. X". 

The police said the man would appear in court soon but did not give a date.

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