Families of trapped Lily Mine workers plead with government to retrieve bodies of their loved ones

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The families of three mine workers trapped underground in the Lily mine in Barberton in Mpumalanga have once again pleaded with government to retrieve their remains as the country celebrates Workers’ Day. Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda were working in a lamp room container that fell down a sinkhole when the Lily Mine caved-in in 2016.

Yesterday, marked exactly four years since the families of three set up a camp site at the mine. COSATU intends to demonstrate outside the mine today to mark the International Workers’ Day.

However, the families only long for the return of their loved ones. The families spokesperson, Harry Mazibuko says they want the container retrieved and the mine reopened.

Mazibuko adds that, “The march by COSATU is questionable to us as the families because there’s no one representative that came forth to the families, they cannot say they are representing the rights of Yvonne, Pretty and Solomon yet there’s no contact. We are looking for closure, we are looking solutions to find them to clock out because since they clocked in on the 5th of February 2016.”

COSATU’s General Secretary Solly Phetoe speaks on the planned Workers’ Day celebrations