SUMMARY: The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Lily Mine Disaster this year. Due to the Covid-19 limitations on public gatherings, the Union will not be convening the customary event at the site as it did the past four years.
5 February 2021 will mark five years since the day on which the collapse of a mine shaft at the Lily Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga trapped a container with three (3) mineworkers underground. The three mineworkers, Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende remain underground since the incident, and their families and loved ones are still left without closure.
“As AMCU, we have given our all to resolve this situation from day one,” said AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa. “We have tried so many things, including attempting to convince government and the private sector to retrieve the container, but we have not yet gained traction”, he added.
Every year on 5 February since 2017, AMCU has arranged a public event to commemorate the Lily Mine Disaster. These events, organised for the families and loved ones of the trapped mineworkers, are often attended by stakeholders in business as well as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). However, this year will be different. Due to the Covid-19 level 3 regulations prohibiting public gatherings of any kind, AMCU will be embarking on an awareness campaign at the site of the disaster in Barberton, Mpumalanga as well as on social media.
“We will never stop commemorating what happened here and we will never stop our campaign until such time as the bodies of our comrades are brought up so that their families can greet them properly”, said Mathunjwa. “This year we will commemorate in a different way due to the [Covid-19] lockdown regulations, but our spirit will remain committed to the cause and the campaign to bring closure to this sensitive matter”, Mathunjwa concluded.
For interviews: President Joseph Mathunjwa