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20 illegal miners killed in suspected gas explosion in near Orkney

18 June 2021 1:58 PM
Tags:
Crime
Zama Zamas
North West
Illegal mining
Orkney
Mandy Wiener
Eyewitness News
EWN
midday report
Veronica Makhoali

Many Wiener interviews Eyewitness News reporter Veronica Makhoali.
  • 20 illegal miners died in a suspected underground gas explosion

  • They could’ve been part of a syndicate of “Zama Zamas”


An abandoned mine. © mulderphoto/123rf.com

At least 20 illegal miners died in what police suspects was an underground gas explosion at a disused mine near Orkney in North West province.

Police say the bodies were found in a state of decomposition and had significant burn wounds.

“We have the police here in South Africa who are not trained to police underground,” reacted National Union of Mineworkers president Joseph Montisetse.

"There was a video that went viral, whereby a man, who named himself Mafifi, was seen pleading for assistance, apparently due to people who died as a result of a smoke inhalation or an accident that occurred at shaft number six, but at this stage, our investigation is still underway," said the police's Sabata Mokgwabone.

Many Wiener interviewed Eyewitness News reporter Veronica Makhoali (scroll up to listen).

Just behind this town is an open veld… where some of the most dangerous underground illegal mining is happening…

Veronica Makhoali, reporter - Eyewitness News

This case goes far beyond the ordinary Zama Zamas, trying to make ends meet. It could be part of something much larger, a bigger syndicate…

Veronica Makhoali, reporter - Eyewitness News

The pungent smell of decay can still be smelled…

Veronica Makhoali, reporter - Eyewitness News



18 June 2021 1:58 PM
Tags:
Crime
Zama Zamas
North West
Illegal mining
Orkney
Mandy Wiener
Eyewitness News
EWN
midday report
Veronica Makhoali

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