Lily Mine families back legal challenge to get worker’s remains retrieved

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi, and Solomon Nyirenda were trapped underground following a tremor that collapsed part of the mine in Mpumalanga in February 2016.

FILE: Lily Mine. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The families of the three trapped workers at the Lily Mine threw their weight behind Action SA’s plans to take the government to court to force them to retrieve the container with their loved ones inside.

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi, and Solomon Nyirenda were trapped underground following a tremor that collapsed part of the mine in Mpumalanga in February 2016.

On Wednesday their families said they were grateful that the matter was being revived again with the hope that they would finally be able to bring to the surface the bodies of the mineworkers.

It’s been a long journey for the families of the three mineworkers, who had not received closure as the remains of their loved ones were still underground.

The Department of Minerals and Energy stated years ago that the container was irretrievable, citing safety concerns and the surface’s instability.

However, Action SA’s president Herman Mashaba reopened the matter saying his party was preparing its legal case against the State for failing to retrieve the mineworkers.

Oheri Mazibuko, who represents the families, said he had been picketing outside the mine for over 500 days now.

“The intervention from our government was not the one we expected. Instead of getting assistance, we were assaulted,” he said.

Action SA claims that the report government relied on, to determine that the container was irretrievable, provided no evidence for such a conclusion.

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