Residents apathetic to dead miner

The body of an illegal miner is seen next to Zamimphilo informal settlement in Riverlea Ext 2, Johannesburg, yesterday. This is the second of two bodies recovered from the area after an alleged rock fall in the illegal mine. Friends of the deceased recovered the body and then alerted police. Picture: Alaister Russell

Residents near the Zamimphilo informal settlement appeared unmoved by the exhumation of another illegal miner on the West Rand yesterday.

The body of the suspected illegal miner was found at the entrance to a closed mine shaft along Main Reef Road in Riverlea Ext 2 yesterday.

This after residents found a body in the same area on Saturday.

Langlaagte police spokesman Warrant Officer Gordon Billings said a total of four bodies had been found at entrances to closed mine shafts in the area this year.

“It is alleged that other illegal miners brought the body up from underground after unstable ground collapsed in the shaft,” Billings said at the scene yesterday. The police will open an inquest docket.”

Billings could not confirm whether there were more bodies underground. He said the ground was too unstable to go into the mine.

The Department of Mineral Resources had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to print.

However, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has warned illegal miners operating in the West Rand that the law will soon catch up with them.

Shabangu visited the area last month, following a visit in July when she said illegal mining activities would be dealt with speedily.

“Disruption operations” were consequently conducted by law enforcement agencies, and 15 illegal miners were arrested. More than 1 000 bags of sand and gold concentrate were confiscated.

today in print

today in print