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'Retrieving bodies of Lily Mine workers unlikely'

Business rescue company Sturns has told Parliament’s mineral resources committee that current conditions are too risky.

FILE: One of the mine rescue vehicles seen entering the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - It is unlikely that the bodies of three Lily Mine workers will be retrieved unless an investor is found to re-open the mine, Parliament’s mineral resources committee heard on Wednesday.

Business rescue company Sturns says current conditions are too risky.

But the committee says it’s unacceptable that there’s no certainty that the bodies will ever be retrieved.

It’s also unclear how the money will be raised to pay the families of the victims.

It’s been a year since Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda fell to their deaths in a container which sunk underground.

Sturns official Rob Devereux told Parliament it’s been a struggle to raise the R200 million needed to re-open the mine.

The ANC’s Mandla Mandela demanded a candid declaration from Devereux about what this meant for the retrieval of the deceased workers.

Devereux said a date was likely to be set next week on when an inquiry would be launched.

[WATCH] Lily Mine: A forgotten tragedy

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)