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Ramaphosa says SA will tighten mine safety laws following latest deaths

President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to the deaths of six miners in an underground fire at a copper mine in Limpopo.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says that South Africa will tighten its mine safety regulations to hold mine operators accountable for accidental deaths in the industry.

During an interview on TV news channel eNCA on Monday night, the president responded to the deaths of six miners in an underground fire at a copper mine in Limpopo.

Ramaphosa says 54 miners have been killed in the country’s mines, so far, in 2018.

Meanwhile, the parents of one of the miners who died at the Palabora Mining Company say they’re hurt and angered by management’s lack of transparency on the death of their son.

Sean Mashego’s body was burnt beyond recognition. He was identified by his work access card which was found in the pocket of his overalls.

The 26-year-old victim’s mother, Kedibone, says when she was told that her son was trapped underground, they [mine management] said there was hope 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 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.

“My child was not the person I knew, he was burnt beyond recognition.”

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

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