JOHANNESBURG – The families of the three Lily Mine workers who died after being trapped underground outside Barberton in Mpumalanga in 2016 said they had been let down by the government because they were poor.
Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyarende and Yvonne Mnisi were trapped when a container disappeared below the surface. Rescue operations were halted after the mine said it had no money.
The families addressed the media on Wednesday in Rosebank.
Nkambule left behind four children, with the youngest five-years-old. She was about to finish her shift but was requested to do a double shift after one of her co-workers didn’t report for duty.
Nkambule’s younger brother Sifiso Mavuso said they had asked the government for help on many occasions.
“If one of them was the son or daughter of President Cyril Ramaphosa or the deputy president, was it going to take this long for the government to intervene?” Mavuso asked.
He said he also lost his father who could not cope because of the loss of his daughter.
“My father was always stressed and suffered from depression. He died because of what happened at Lily Mine.”
The founder of the People’s Dialogue and former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba was helping the families to find their loved ones.