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Oliphant: We will continue search for Lily Mine workers’ bodies

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende fell to their deaths in a container at the mine more than 15 months ago.

The Lily Mine. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant says efforts will continue to retrieve the container with the bodies of the three mine workers at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga.

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisis and Solomon Nyerende fell to their deaths in the container which sunk underground more than 15 months ago.

WATCH: Lily Mine: A forgotten tragedy

Oliphant says the three families have received payments of R200,000 each, and 58 of the 75 miners injured were given R10,000, with R40,000 to follow.

He says the other workers were contractors whose bank details are still being processed.

The money was raised with the help of the Chamber of Mines and is in addition to the benefits due to them.

Oliphant says they haven’t given up on trying to retrieve the container in which the three were trapped.

“Our commitment, however, is that we shall not give up the efforts to retrieve the container and recover the bodies of the three comrades. All we need is the cooperation of all affected parties and the suspension of our differences in this matter.”

He adds the inquiry into the incident has yet to be concluded.

“The inquiry on this matter is ongoing, even though it has taken unreasonably long. We will await the outcome and act accordingly thereafter.”

He was speaking during the Mineral Resources budget vote debate in Parliament on Tuesday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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