Lily Mine: The People’s Dialogue to Receive the DMRE Report Documents

Today a breakthrough has been made in our efforts to obtain the annexures to the DMRE report that deemed the container, and the 3 bodies within it, at Lily Mine irretrievable.

This is a significant victory in our battle to ultimately see the retrieval of the container in which the remains of Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyarende have been trapped underground for over 4 years now.

Our legal team has ben advised that the documentation will be made available to them immediately after a protracted legal process to obtain this information. These documents formed the basis of the decision by the DMRE to determine that the container at Lily Mine was irretrievable.

We have long held the view that this decision must be reviewed, given that prospective bidders for the mine have indicated their ability and willingness to retrieve the container. In 2020, with the mining technology available, it is unfathomable that the DMRE deemed the container irretrievable.

It forms part of a long pattern of government obstructionism and indifference to the efforts of the former miners and families to bury their loved ones and hold those accountable for the criminal negligence that led to the collapse of the mine.

Once we have obtained the documents, we will be on a position to analyse the basis for the decision to deem the container irretrievable. We are confident that we will identify the flaws in these documents and challenge the rationality of the decision that has left the bodies of the 3 miners trapped underground since February 2016.

Our efforts will not stop there, because the DMRE’s report made recommendations of charges for criminal negligence on the part of mine management and their culpability in the collapse. The NPA will be held to account for their handling of this matter and we will not allow this to become yet another case where justice is denied to the families of this tragedy.

Our government appears more interested in entering the worldwide movement of Black Lives Matter, than it is in demonstrating this through their actions at home. These brave South Africans have done everything to fight for justice and to afford the families the dignity of a proper burial. They are owed wages, have camped outside the mine for over a year and have been ignored and mishandled by their government for 4 years now.

We will continue this legal battle until such time as that container is retrieved. We will do this because these are our fellow South Africans being abused by our government, and standing by idly can never be an option.