The group of former Lily mine workers and families of the three workers who were trapped underground have been attacked and their belongings set alight. The group has been camping outside the mine premises since last year with an aim of putting pressure on government and mine owners to retrieve the remains of their loved ones.

Harry Mazibuko, speaking on behalf of the affected families and some of the former workers, says, “Our tent was set alight and there’s nothing left. We haven’t got a place to sleep now. Where we are sleeping, we had a printer where we do our stuff, our chargers and everything, it is destroyed. Our clothes were destroyed. Fortunately the belongings of our mothers, some stuff was left. But most of the things have been destroyed.”

Meanwhile, the group says the perpetrators are known to them and they have attacked them before. Mazibuko accuses the police of failing to protect them.

“We have engaged with the station commander of the police station so he promised that he’s going to send officials,  that didn’t happen up until now. They just arrived now, 20 minutes ago, when everything is down and destroyed. I’ve got many questions in that regard because I believe this should have been prevented because we received reports that there are people who are planning to do such.”

The fifth commemoration of the disaster: