8 February 2019

South Africa: Cosatu Mpumalanga Condemns the Negligence Displayed By the Mining Rescue Practitioners Which Have Led to the Perish of More Than 25 Lives in the Belly of the Earth in Koorinfontein Colliery Mine

press release

The federation is deeply angered because of the following reasons:-

That COSATU has long called upon the BRP's to bring to finality the rescue plan so that the operations of the mine are brought to full swing and workers are not laid off and paid what is due to them.

We, however, must express our disappointment with the despondency and lack of commitment that has ever since been shown by the rescue practitioners who have been appointed to take care of the mine in May 2018.

Those rescue practitioners have failed to provide security to protect the premises of the two mines i.e. That is Optimum and Koorinfontein mines which had resulted to a situation whereby the mines become vulnerable to illegal and other related criminal activities.

The illegal miners took advantage of the situation in which they (zama zamas) extract the valuables found beneath the ground which led to the unfortunate accident of a gas explosion while they were busy with mining activities.

We are currently reporting that out of the 47 trapped illegal miners 18 came out alive, 7 have been retrieved but lost their lives. The remainder is still trapped underground efforts are still underway to try and rescue them. The disaster strike on the 04 February 2019.

Lastly what irritates us the most is that operations of the mine have since been suspended in November 2018 and workers have since been laid off without income for the past 04 months. In spite of the appointment of the rescue practitioners.

We, therefore, call for the investigation to be undertaken with regard to factors which might have led to the delay of the implementation of the rescue plan and ultimately to the disaster. We call for the full prosecution of the culprits.

Justice delayed is no justice at all.

South Africa

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