13 February 2016

South Africa: We Share Your Pain, Zuma Tells Families of Trapped Mine Workers

The families of the three workers trapped inside Lily Mine in Louisville, outside Barberton, are in pain, but the country is with them, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

"The families are in deep pain and feel helpless in such an overwhelming situation," Zuma said in a speech prepared for the 2nd annual Ubuntu Awards Gala dinner in Cape Town.

"We assure the families that the whole nation is with them and shares the pain."

Zuma said he had appointed three ministers to work alongside the Mpumalanga province in providing the affected families with assistance and support.

Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Mazibuko and Solomon Nyerende were working in a shipping container office when the entrance of the mine collapsed, leading to the container falling into the ground last week Friday.

Rescue efforts were temporarily suspended on Saturday when a second collapse occurred at the site. This was avoid risking the safety of rescuers who were working on retrieving the trio.

"It is a very difficult and painful period and we trust that the rescue mission will yield results sooner," Zuma said.

Earlier, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza had reassured families that Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyarende and Yvonne Mnisi would be brought back to the surface, dead or alive.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) head of health and safety Gabriel Nkosi told News24 laser technology was being used to monitor the ground's stability.

He said a decision had been made to call in specialists and professors who had played a role in designing the mine, to provide assistance on a way forward.

He said the decision to halt rescue operations was a hard pill to swallow for the families of the missing three.

"We have addressed the families about the current situation. It is very hard swallow for the families, its very difficult for them to understand, but they have seen from the second collapse that it is risky [for the rescue team]."

Based on his interactions with the families, Nkosi said although they seemed to be getting weak, there were a few strong individuals who helped them keep their faith alive.

Although there was currently no progress at the mine, Nkosi said some family members had opted not to return home until they received new information.

Amcu made a call to government to declare the incident a national crisis.

Source: News24

South Africa

2016 Cosafa U-20 Championships - Team-By-Team Guide

The 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPC, will be played in South Africa’s North West province… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,100 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.