#LilyMine: Colleagues, family prepared for the worst

Solomon Nyerenda, Pretty Nkambule & Yvonne Mnisi have been trapped underground for 10 days.

The dirt road leading to the area where the collapse happened at the Lily mine near Barberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

BARBERTON - While an assessment of the ground surrounding the Lily Mine continues this morning, a colleague of Solomon Nyerenda, one of the three workers trapped underground, has told Eyewitness News he's preparing for the worst.

Nyerenda, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi still haven't been found since the first collapse at the mine 10 days ago.

Since then, there have been two additional collapses and mine officials say the ground remains unstable.

WATCH: Inside the Lily Mine:

Siboniso Mangongo is an underground worker at the Lily Mine and has worked with Nyerenda for a number of years.

He says Nyerenda stood out as a leader among his peers.

"We're together on a committee of shop stewards as well. We're losing a man among men. We're losing a friend. We're very disappointed."

Mangong is among the workers that have gathered at the site for the past week, hoping to hear news of their rescue.

But he says they've now accepted the inevitable.

"It's a big loss to us as workers and to management as well. Because we work hand in hand with management, so we can't blame anyone and this wasn't expected."

WATCH: Second landslide halts rescue operations at Lily Mine

Daily church services have been held at the mine since the initial collapse, but the risk of another fall of ground has now led to families and friends being taken off the property.