Lily Mine: Big Promises in Portfolio Committee must be met with Big Accountability

Yesterday, 11 February, the former colleagues and family members of the three trapped Lily Miners attended a session with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Minerals Resources and Energy. 

The reports I have received from group, accompanied by our legal team, is that a series of big promises were made to them in this meeting. These promises, while positive, must be accompanied by actions.

Firstly, the Business Rescue Practitioner made the commitment for the container to be retrieved in which the three miners are buried. This will bring the closure to the families that has been denied to them for so long.

Secondly, the Committee has committed itself to a series of future engagements with the mining company and the Business Rescue Practitioner to ensure this matter is resolved. 

It is beyond me as to why it took four years for this commitment to be made, or why the Department has shown so little interest in this matter in the past. It is worth noting the Committee was critical of the Department for arriving with the same presentation they gave two years ago on this tragedy.  

While we remain cautiously optimistic, we are mindful that many promises have been made to these former miners and family members over the past four years. 

I am pleased by the Committee’s vigour in addressing this matter yesterday, and their commitment to holding the management of the mining company to account by summoning them before the next meeting.  

It has become common for politicians to arrive and promise the world to these suffering South Africans only before they disappear along with their promises. 

On one matter I would like to ensure we are abundantly clear: These commitments made yesterday have been documented by our legal team and we are going to hold all key stakeholders to account in terms of their fulfilment of these promises. We will not stand for more broken promises.

Our legal team stands poised to ensure that any departure from these commitments will be met with swift and decisive legal action. 

We will not allow any further false promises to deepen the suffering of these brave South Africans who have persisted in the face of indifference and criminality.

Issued by:

Herman Mashaba
The People’s Dialogue

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