DMRE Now Stalling Release of Lily Mine Documents
Despite the DMRE confirming on 15 July that they would make the documents available to our legal team representing the former miners and families at Lily Mine, it appears they are getting cold feet.
This latest obstruction is another in a long line of efforts to frustrate the families and former miners from having the dignity of burying their loved ones and holding mine management to account for the negligence found to have taken place.
Sought through a PAIA application, the documents form the evidence used to substantiate the DMRE decision to deem the container that entombs the three deceased miners irretrievable. This decision is the focus of our legal challenge given that prospective mining companies have included in their bids their commitment to retrieving the container, and the remains of the miners.
It is only possible to deduce that after realising that there are no legal grounds to refuse the documentation, and committing to release the documents, political interests in the DMRE have blocked this move.
This raises the question; if the documents on which the decision was made was based on rational and professional judgement, why would there be any hesitance to release the documents? I believe we all know the answer lies in the probability that these documents do not substantiate the decision.
In the interests of continued fairness and transparency, I reiterate my warning to our government: should you not issue these documents by the legal deadline of 27 August 2020, I will proceed to court.
At these court proceedings, in full view of the South African public, I will lay bare the damning obstruction and inaction of our government for everyone to see.
The former miners and families at Lily Mine deserve the support of their fellow South Africans. At a time when our government involves itself in campaigns for black lives mattering abroad, we have to demonstrate that black lives matter in our own country.
These people have bravely suffered unbearable pain. Children are growing up without parents, elderly parents have died without justice, and the futures of siblings have been ruined.
For over a year, the former miners and families have camped outside the mine and have resumed their efforts to retrieve the container themselves, unaided. The only way we will ever build a united nation, is when all South Africans stand up when they see their fellow countrymen and women suffering at the hands of their government.