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NUM calls for forensic audit after body of fourth Tau Lekoa miner recovered

8 December 2019 10:48 AM
Tags:
National Union of Mineworkers NUM
rock fall at Tau Lekoa gold mine
4 trapped miners die at Tau Lekoa mine

'We are dying, give us oxygen!' - NUM's Joseph Montisetse says the lives of mine workers are still being taken for granted in SA.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has confirmed that the body of a fourth miner has been brought to the surface at the Tau Lekoa Mine in the North West, a day after the recovery of the bodies of three other miners who died when they were trapped in a shaft.

A tremor caused a rockfall in the gold mine near Orkney on Friday.

A fifth miner was rescued and has been hospitalised with serious injuries.

The union is calling for a forensic audit, citing delays in the rescue process. It also says mine management has not implemented the recommendations of the Department of Mineral Resources.

RELATED: 'Mining safety is a culture issue, we need better commitment from companies'

NUM president Joseph Montisetse says mine workers at the scene allege they were stopped from helping while some of the trapped miners were still alive.

By that time those that were trapped were crying that side to say: 'But we are dying! Why can't you give oxygen to us?'

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

Workers stood there frustrated as the 'prota' team just sat down...

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

Secondly, says Montisetse, there have been allegations that blasting took place when mine management were aware there had been an accident underground.

The union also has questions about why underground support pillars are not being replaced.

Since the miners mining the pillars that hold the roofing of the mine underground, but they are not replacing them with artificial pillars. Why was that not done?

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

He says a forensic investigation is also necessary to determine why the recommendations of the Department of Mineral Resources have not been implemented, citing a similar accident at Tau Lekoa Mine in 2017. Four miners also died then after being trapped by a rockfall.

That's why we are looking for the recommendations from both management and the department because it is important for us to know what management was supposed to do. Where the accident has occurred - it is the same area as the case of 2017.

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

The outcome of that investigation will empower us to take action.

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

It is a major concern to us that the lives of mine workers are being taken for granted in this country.

Joseph Montisetse, President - National Union of Mineworkers

Listen to the conversation on Weekend Breakfast with Africa Melane:


8 December 2019 10:48 AM
Tags:
National Union of Mineworkers NUM
rock fall at Tau Lekoa gold mine
4 trapped miners die at Tau Lekoa mine

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