Anguish at memorial service

A family member of one of the deceased miners being lifted into an ambulance after being overcome by extreme emotion.

The memorial service for Baptista Cuambe, Bongumusa Mngomezulu, Ernesto Lumbela, Mbulelo Sonqowa, Nkosiphendule Dudlela, Thabo Ntsheke and X-mas Madikizela was held at the Masizakhele Stadium at Driefontein on Thursday, 10 May.
‘You can never value a person’s life in financial terms. Compensation is never enough,’ said the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, during the proceedings. He added that a summit would be held to find ways of addressing the growing number of fatalities in mines during the past year.
The CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, Mr Neal Froneman, also expressed his condolences with the families of the deceased miners and pledged the company’s full cooperation with the DMR in its investigation into the incident.
Emotions ran high when candles were lit for each of the deceased workers. A family member of one of the deceased had to be taken away in an ambulance after being overcome by extreme emotion.
Although representatives of the NUM, Solidarity and UASA were also given an opportunity to address the crowd that filled the stadium, it was the head of AMCU, Mr Joseph Mathunjwa, who stole the spotlight. From the start of the proceedings, a group of AMCU supporters could be heard singing outside the stadium.
Upon Mathunjwa’s getting onto the stage, the group marched into the stadium and set themselves up next to the stage.
During his address, Mathunjwa appealed for more attention to be given to illegal mining, among other things and asked employers to invest more in life-saving technology.

Photos: Adele Louw

A group of AMCU supporters marching to the stage as their leader was to address the crowd.

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, waiting next to Sibanye-Stillwater’s chairman, Mr Sello Moloko, and a horde of national media for his time
to address the crowd.

Flowers for each of the deceased miners next to the stage on which Mantashe is speaking.


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