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Limpopo mine fire: Victim’s family hurt by lack of transparency

Sean Mashego is one of six miners who died when a fire broke out at the Phalaborwa mining company’s shaft on Sunday.

Palabora Mining Company entrance. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The family of one of the miners who died at the Palabora Copper Mine in Limpopo says they are hurt and angered by management’s lack of transparency on the death of their son.

Shaun Mashego is one of six miners who died when a fire broke out at the Phalaborwa mining company’s shaft on Sunday.

His body was burnt beyond recognition and was identified by his work access card found in the pocket of his overalls.

WATCH: Mother tells of heartache of losing son in mining tragedy

The 26-year-old victim’s mother, Kedibone Mashego, says that when she was told that her son was trapped underground, they [mine management] said there was hope that the men would make it out alive as there were safety rooms underground.

But she says the story quickly changed as she was told that her son had died.

“After some time, they called us, as families, to tell us they had failed and our children had died.”

Mashego says that after mine management told her that her son suffered smoke inhalation, she was called to identify his body but could not have been prepared for what she saw.

Mashego says they would like to bury her son this week but will have to wait for a post-mortem to be conducted.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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