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Lily Mine: Plans to hold remembrance service spark fresh tensions

Three workers were killed when they became trapped underground in a metal structure in a massive ground collapse last year.

Aerial view of the portion Lily Mine which collapsed on 5 February 2016. Picture: Barberton Times

JOHANNESBURG – Members of the Barberton community in Mpumalanga say their plans to host a remembrance service this weekend for the three miners who died at the Lily Mine a year ago have sparked fresh tensions in the area.

Three workers were killed when they became trapped underground in a metal structure in a massive ground collapse on 5 February last year.

The company went into business rescue after the incident and community members say workers feel let down by Vantage Goldfields as they have not been paid.

It’s just two days before the anniversary of the Lily Mine tragedy and Vantage Point and family members have postponed the remembrance day service amid mounting tensions.

Community members say Lily Mine workers have warned of violence if the service commences as planned.

Business Rescue Practitioner Rob Deveruex says they are planning a private ceremony for the families instead.

“What we were thinking is to postpone the remembrance event but certainly to allow the families to have a private service themselves and the company will assist in that. That’s what our intention is.”

Lily Mine revealed last year that while some miners had taken severance packages, many others had opted to stay until the mine’s operations pick up again.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)