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Cosatu calls for Lily Mine bosses to take responsibility

Cosatu's General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says govt needs to hold mine bosses accountable.

Lily Mine manager Mike Begg. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says management at the Lily Mine must take responsibility for the collapse in Barberton which has left three workers trapped underground for 21 days now.

Solomon Nyerende, Yvonne Mnisi and Pretty Nkambule were inside a container, used as a lamp room, when it sunk underground during a cave-in at the mine on 5 February.

Drilling of a second shaft has resumed after a mechanical fault stalled operations a few days ago.

Cosatu's General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says government needs to hold mine bosses accountable.

"They have tried to camouflage their carelessness using a public relations stunt where Cosatu leaders have stopped visiting the mine. Government will ensure they don't get away with this irresponsible behaviour."

RESCUERS BEGIN WORK ON SECOND RESCUE MISSION ROUTE

On Monday, drilling of a second escape route at the mine began as part of continued efforts to rescue the three mine workers still trapped underground.

Rescue operations have intensified at the mine.

Mine Manager Mike Begg said they were drilling 800 meters away from the original entrance of the mine where the first collapse occurred.

Authorities are still calling the operation a "rescue mission" in the hopes of finding life underground.