Perit David Xuereb

On Wednesday (today), as the publication of the Jean Paul Sofia inquiry continues to make shockwaves, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) Chairman David Xuereb is set to hand in his resignation.

20-year-old Jean Paul Sofia lost his life during the collapse of a building on government land in Corradino. His parents fought tirelessly for a public inquiry.

Following the publication of the inquiry Prime Minister Robert Abela, without naming names, said that a chairperson, two CEOs and an employee, also named in the inquiry, are expected to shoulder responsibility. He then gave them an ultimatum to hand in their resignations by 4:30pm.

In comments given to Times of Malta, Chairman David Xuereb, said that his non-executive role was that of working to transform and uplift OHSA to where it should be.

“I respect the authors and am duty bound to respect the recommendations of said report, irrespective of my opinion,” he added.

Asked directly if he will be drafting his resignation letter, Mr Xuereb said, “absolutely.”

Mr Xuereb was appointed as Chair of OHSA in 2021 after two years as President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry. He graduated the University of Malta and various universities within the UK as an architect.

Over the years, he has also been highly active in the areas of sustainable design and the green economy and has taught and been asked to give presentations at several universities and institutions, with a particular focus on sustainability, the environment and climate change.

The inquiry commenced in August and was concluded in November. The board, led by former judge Joseph Zammit McKeon, was tasked with investigating the allocation of public land for the Corradino project to developers Kurt Buhagiar and Matthew Schembri. It heard testimony from 69 witnesses – including David Xuereb – and reviewed an extensive array of documents totalling 1,800 pages.

Lands Minister responsible for INDIS, Silvio Schembri also commented that he has already received resignations and that he would provide more details during the plenary session at the Parliament, during the discussion of the inquiry.

Both Malta Enterprise and INDIS are in the hot seat after the inquiry exposed the severe shortcomings by the entities.

The report concluded that the two entities should not have permitted the allocation of land in Corradino to the developers responsible for the faulty construction.

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