Ex-miners take silicosis compensation fight to court

Lawyers say miners have a constitutional right to compensation for contracting the disease while working.

Supporters of the sick former mineworkers outside the Johannesburg High Court. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing miners who are suffering from silicosis have argued it's their constitutional right to be compensated for contracting the disease while working underground.

The case has been running for three years and was brought forward by former miners who worked in the gold mines.

This is landmark case which could present opportunities for many other miners who have contracted silicosis and want to sue for compensation.

Advocate Wim Trengove says it's about bringing justice to surviving mineworkers and the dependents of those who have passed on.

He says it's not about whether they'll be compensated, it's about how.

Meanwhile dozens of members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Sonke Gender Justice are protesting outside court to show their support for the miners.

#Silicosis Members from TAC & Sonke Gender Justice outside court supporting miners. GN pic.twitter.com/iuCBqs6Mk6