The two firemen who spent more than two months in hospital after a fatal Joburg fire were in high spirits on Monday morning when they were discharged from the hospital.
Moleko Bereng and Livhuwani Maumela said they looked forward to going home and spending time with their families while trying to recover fully.
"I miss being in my garden with my wife and children and looking forward to spending time with them in our home," said Bereng whose left hand was injured under the fire.
The two were among dozens of firefighters sent to the Lisbon Bank building in Joburg CBD on 5 September after the fire broke out.
The building, which was later found to be only 21% in compliance with health and safety standards, contained three government departments – human settlements, health as well as cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
Firefighters Simphiwe Moropane, 28, Khathutshelo Muedi, 37, and Mduduzi Ndlovu, 40, lost their lives as they struggled with the fan raging for two days.
Maumela, whose hands burned steeply in the fire, said he still had flashbacks.
"All I want is to see where our friends and colleagues were buried. We never got to go to the memorial or attend the funeral." I must be strong for my family, "said Maumela.
Nana Radebe, chairman of Joburg Emergency Services (EMS), said Maumela and Bereng had undergone six operations on their injured hands.
"They can use their hands now, even if they are not fully functional. They still need to undergo intensive physical therapy and only then will they be able to get back to work at full power," said Radebe.