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Lily Mine: Money won’t bring our daughter back

The Mnisi family says they would rather not concern themselves with the clash between miners and vantage point.

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

JOHANNESBURG – The family of one of the three miners who remain trapped underground the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga says it just wants its relative’s body to be recovered.

While protests have been planned against the mining company which has still not compensated families, Yvonne Mnisi’s family says money will not bring their daughter back.

Today mark exactly one year since Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende were trapped underground when the metal structure they were working in caved in.

The Mnisi family says they would rather not concern themselves with the clash between miners and vantage point.

Mnisi’s father, Elmon Mnisi, says while they too have not been paid the R200,000 owed to them by the Mineral Resources Department and the mine, their main focus is to see their daughter given a respectful burial.

“All I want is for my daughter’s body to be found. What will money give me if I don’t have my daughter?”

Lilly Mine management had initially planned a remembrance service for the three workers but say they have had to cancel those plans because of the planned protest by miners and union Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu).

At the same time, Cosatu has reaffirmed its commitment to a planned protest against the Lily Mine.

Company Vantage Point went on business rescue just months after the sinkhole that trapped workers underground took place.

Efforts to raise the R200 million needed to restart the mine and save jobs were cut short as Lily Mine’s sister mine Barbroek also went under business rescue, bringing the total needed to rescue both mines to R300 million.

However, Cosatu still maintains not enough is being done and therefore they will continue protesting.

“The minister and the employer made the public statements and promised the public that they were going to pay the families of those workers who are trapped R200,000 and those workers who were rescued R50,000 each. That thing has never happened.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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