Lily Mine families want prosecutions over failure to retrieve workers’ remains

A shaft collapse in February 2016 left Solomon Nyirenda, Pretty Nkambule, and Yvonne Mnisi trapped in a container.

FILE: Sink hole at the Lily Mine in Barberton. Picture: Vantage Goldfield

JOHANNESBURG - The families of three miners, whose bodies remain underground at Lily Mine in Mpumalanga, on Saturday said the owners of the mine and government should be prosecuted for their failure to recover them.

A shaft collapse in February 2016 left Solomon Nyirenda, Pretty Nkambule, and Yvonne Mnisi trapped in a container.

For safety reasons, efforts to bring their bodies to the surface were suspended.

The miners' loved ones insisted the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had the means and capacity to retrieve their bodies and they are seeking relief through the courts.

Due to the intricate nature of the recovery operation, it has had to be halted numerous times on the advice of the government.

Action SA leader Herman Mashaba has since stepped in offering to help with the legal challenge.

The spokesperson representing the families, Harry Mazibuko, said they were planning to petition the Constitutional Court.

“There is no communication from the business rescue practitioners and we no longer believe in that process,” Mazibuko said.

For more than 500 days, the late workers' families had set up camp outside the mine in the hopes of putting pressure on those in charge.

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