Cape Town – A man was crushed to death by a collapsing wall as he tried to save children in a derelict building.
Children had been playing in the dilapidated building in Connaught Avenue in Uitsig on Wednesday afternoon when Dezaan Cochran, 29, passed by and stopped to warn them.
Relatives say the old two-storey building was dangerous as it had been stripped by drug addicts and other thieves, who even carried off the bricks and mortar.
They say when Dezaan saw the kids in the building he went in to chase them out and that’s when the bricks of a crumbling wall fell on him.
His uncle, David Cochran, angrily denies rumours that Dezaan had been stealing copper wires or bricks from the building at the time.
The building used to be owned by DC Armed Security several years ago, but it’s believed that the firm has since gone out of business.
“Children were playing there and Dezaan had been nearby because his grandmother lives that side,” David explains.
“The building is very dangerous and has been like this for years after a security company left. There was a fence, but that is also gone. Dezaan was chasing the children away when this happened.”
Dezaan’s brother, Anthony Cochran, says addicts had been using the building to do drugs.
“People sleep there and they do everything at that building,” he adds.
“My brother was on top and people were chopping at the bottom and then one brick fell onto his leg. He tried to escape, but it was too late. When the brick hit his leg, he fell down and then all the bricks fell on top of him. He died at the scene.”
David says the family has since been trying to reach management of DC Armed Security, but have been unsuccessful.
“We have tried to locate them because someone needs to take responsibility, someone needs to be held liable, what if that was a child?”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, says an inquest docket has been opened into Dezaan’s death.
“Circumstances surrounding the death of a 26-year-old man who was fatally injured after a wall of a building collapsed on him are under investigation. An inquest case was registered for investigation.”