Action SA President, Herman Mashaba, says they will not stop with legal action to force government and the owners of the Lily Mine to retrieve the container with the remains of three workers that have been trapped underground since 2016.
Mashaba was speaking on Sunday at the 7th commemoration of the collapse of the mine that trapped Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyirenda are still in the container. Over seventy people were rescued from the collapsed mine.
Mashaba says they have spent over R2 million already to have authorities resolve the matter. He says there are two contempt of court orders by authorities – which clearly means undermining the law.
“There one has given an offer, including the retrieval of the container. The current mine is refusing to abide. They’re working with the business rescue practitioners with the support of the South African government, Department of mineral and energy. Because every time, we raised this matter they either completely ignore us or just carry on, I’ve requested Gwede Mantashe, I have asked President Ramaphosa to come and really see for himself but they are not prepared.”
Efforts by former mineworkers to retrieve the container were unsuccessful. Families of the three victims still have no closure. Pretty Nkambule ‘s brother, Sfiso Mavuso, says what worries them most is the failure of the government to assist them.
“Each and every time when this day arrives it’s painful for me’ because that image of the fifth of February 2016 keeps popping up that’s I’m becoming emotional when I’m talking about this issue since my sister left four kids and the young one was five months so now she is almost seven at lest if they retrieved and we know where they are in terms of giving the proper burial.”
The family spokesperson, Herry Mazibuko, says they remain determined that the container will be retrieved irrespective of the court battles.
“The writing is on the wall that clearly that our government seven years later they are not interested. So there’s an approach, it calls international courts that’s the route we are going to take, tell me supreme court of appeal same judgment but still the same the court says it a matter of agency, where is agency because over a month now.”
Lily Mine commemoration – Today marks 7 years since Lily mine tragedy: Sahlulele Luzipo
The Lily Mine management is in a court dispute with Arqomanzi, a company interested in buying the mine. The CEO of SSC, Fred Arendse, says it will take them nine months to open a decline to retrieve the container, however, their hands a tied due to the fact that the matter is in court…
“On the 22nd of December 22 about a month ago the supreme court of appeal ruled in our favour again because remember they appealed the high court’s judgments the supreme court of appeal you know dismissed their application and also ordered significant costs against them now the question is one win all the cases what are the delays, unfortunately, the process is in the hands of the business rescue practitioners because the company is in business rescue. We had a meeting three weeks ago with my colleagues and they promised that get run with it. I’ve said to my colleagues that I don’t believe, I don’t trust because I still have a firm belief that they’re taking instructions from vantage.”