Families to identify their loved ones after Tau Lekoa Mine tragedy

Xolani Meva, Lungile Nyawose, Katleho Nthibane and Karabo Mabuthile died at shaft number 10 following a rockfall caused by tremor on Friday.

Tau Lekoa Mine in Orkney, North West, where four miners got trapped underground on 6 December 2019 after a tremor caused a rockfall. Picture: Edwin Ntshidi/EWN

ORKNEY - The families of the four miners who died underground at the Tau Lekoa Mine are expected to arrive in the North West on Monday to identify their loved ones.

Xolani Meva, Lungile Nyawose, Katleho Nthibane and Karabo Mabuthile died at shaft number 10 following a rockfall caused by tremor on Friday.

Their colleague, who was rescued shortly after the incident, is recovering in hospital.

The families of the mineworkers will be travelling from the Free State, Eastern Cape and Gauteng to identify their loved ones.

The bodies of the miners were recovered on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday after being trapped underground since Friday.

The National Union of Mineworkers said it was would assist the families.

The union’s Vuyisani Legesi said: “After the identification of the bodies, we will pick a date for the memorial service.”

The mine's management has sent its condolences to the families of the miners.

Investigations into the fatal tragedy are expected to begin on Monday.

The NUM said it would be involved in getting to the bottom of exactly what happened following Friday’s tremor.

Legesi said: “The investigations are expected to start with the involvement of the unions and the employer.”

Several workers at the mine have expressed concerns about their safety while working underground.

Deadly accidents involving miners are common in South Africa, which has the deepest mines in the world.

Last year, 81 people died in the country's mines, according to the Department of Mineral Resources.