Founder of the People’s Dialogue and former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has filed a court application to force the government to retrieve the bodies of three miners who were trapped underground at Lily Mine after the entrance to the mine collapsed in 2016, SowetanLive reported.
Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi, and Solomon Nyirenda died when the ground collapsed, burying the container they were in after rockfall at the mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga.
Mashaba, who visited the mine early this year, pledged to provide “the very best” legal support to the families of the three miners and ensure they get justice.
“Our legal team has lodged an application for the documents necessary to enjoin our government to retrieve the trapped miners at Lily Mine.
“The documents in question were used to substantiate a 2018 health and safety report which found that the container could not be retrieved and similarly, a report from the miner rescue services is also part of our application,” he said.
The former mayor said he and the legal team were confident that government and the department of mineral resources would respond favourably to their request, given that pressure has been mounting since The People’s Dialogue had taken the matter on.
“However, should the same pattern of obstructionism emerge, we have the legal team to take this matter to an open court of law to expose the comprehensive and coordinated efforts, at all costs, to prevent that container being retrieved.
“Justice matters, and it matters for the families of the three trapped miners. The families have been deprived of proper burials of their loved ones.
“The families and former workers remain camped outside of the mine, while those responsible for the collapse live free and in comfort,” said Mashaba.