National Association of Artisanal Miners blames government for deaths of 21 illegal miners

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The National Association of Artisanal Miners has blamed government, law enforcement and the media for the death of the 21 illegal miners, whose bodies were found in an active mineshaft in Krugersdorp on Gauteng’s West Rand.

Police say post-mortem results will determine the cause of the deaths.

The association’s spokesperson Zethu Hlatshwayo says government first failed by not implementing existing policy on mining.

“In Ermelo, they’re going and raiding everyone and to some extent, they have not found anything illegal. When they did those raids, what they found is that men and women are trying to make a living out of mining. By arresting these people and removing them and scaring them out of what they are doing and what they have been doing for the past two decades already, now they are forced to go to dangerous places where it is not environmental (sic) and even human safe for them to work, but they have no choice because they are being chased all over and the media is painting everyone as if artisanal miners are the dangerous people, are the rapist and all of that. The truth is contrary to that.”

VIDEO | Investigation into bodies of illegal miners found at Krugersdorp mine: