Bodies still trapped in shipping container almost eight years after Lily mine disaster


ActionSA says they are extremely upset by ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula’s comments during a media briefing on the Lily mine disaster where he carelessly responded to a journalist’s question – about the task force he set up and led – .

In his response, Mbalula blames the judiciary for the fact that the Lily mine has not yet been reopened and that work at the mine has not yet resumed.

Thoko Mashiane, chairman of ActionSA in Mpumalanga, says it is even more disturbing that Mbalula completely ignores the tragedy that occurred eight years ago at the Lily mine.

RNews earlier reported that a shipping container with the three workers in it ended up under giant rocks and soil during a collapse at the entrance to the mine on 5 February. The three miners, Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi, who were in the shipping container at the time of the tragedy, have not been found since.

“We want to remind Mbalula and the ANC that the lives of Nkambule, Nyerende and Mnisi matter. There are elderly parents, children, spouses and extended family members of the three miners who still long to bury their loved ones with dignity and find closure,” says Mashiane.

Mbalula assured the nation on Workers’ Day last year, together with the tripartite alliance, that the business rescue process would be finalized within three months and that the shipping container in which Nkambule, Nyerende and Mnisi’s remains were buried would be recovered. They also assured members of the public that work at the mine will resume soon.

“Despite a letter to Mbalula’s office about the progress in August last year, nothing that Mbalula said on that day happened,” says Mashiane.

On 5 February this year, it is already eight years since the Lily mine disaster took place.

“ActionSA wants to challenge Mbalula and his comrades in the ANC government again and ensure that no amount of blame shifting or derailment will stop us from fighting for the families of the victims in the Lily mine disaster.

“No reopening of the mine will take place until the shipping container is recovered and the families are compensated for their suffering.”