Families of miners trapped in Lily Mine hope ConCourt challenge brings closure

Attempts to retrieve their bodies were abandoned for safety reasons but the families believe it is possible.

The Lily Mine. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The families of three miners whose bodies were never recovered after they were trapped underground at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga are hoping that a Constitutional Court challenge against the government and mine management will help bring them closure.

Solomon Nyirenda, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi were trapped in a container on 5 February 2016 after a shaft collapsed.

Attempts to retrieve their bodies were abandoned for safety reasons but the families believe it is possible.

For more than 500 days, the families of Nyirenda, Nkambule and Mnisi have camped outside the mine in Lowscreek in a bid to draw attention to their plight.

They are convinced that the trio’s bodies can still be retrieved and former Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba believes this too.

Mashaba has offered to assist the families in their legal challenge against the government and mine management.

Harry Mazibuko speaks for the families and former workers: “We’re seeking the intervention of the government, especially the DEMR as the regulator to intervene because we believe and know they’ve got all the powers to solve this issue.”

Mazibuko said that the families were still holding out hope and had no intention to leave the site until their loved ones’ remains were brought to the surface.

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