Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
26 Apr 2021
4:18 pm

Lily Mine families spokesperson in hiding for fear of his life

Siyanda Ndlovu

'It’s very unfair that I’m forced to run away like a criminal yet the perpetrators are still free.'

Lily Mine victims families camping outside the mine premises have been attacked. Picture: Screengrab

Continued attacks on the settlement outside of Lily Mine where the families of the three dead miners whose bodies are still trapped in a container almost 70 meters underground have forced the official spokesperson for the three families into hiding for fear of his life.

Harry Mazibuko has for the past five years been leading a campaign, asking, petitioning and pleading for government support to have the container retrieved.

Earlier this month the families of Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule, and Solomon Nyerendewere who are camping outside the mine, hopelessly waiting for their relatives’ bodies to be retrieved were attacked by a mob of “known assailants”.

Their shacks and belongings outside the mine gate were set alight.

ALSO READ: Lily Mine families speak of 650 days of police harassment, death threats

Mazibuko told The Citizen that two weeks ago following the attacks on the camp a group of unknown men arrived at his father’s place looking for him.

“Last Friday we decided with the families at the camp and together with my family and also our lawyers that I go into hiding,” Mazibuko said.

“The leader of the gangsters called me a day after they burned our camp, He threatened to burn my house and confessed that he burned our camp.”

For the past two weeks, I am on the run. It’s not easy at all for me as the environment is totally different and stressful. I’m losing weight, different diet without the people I love. To me, it’s very unfair that I’m forced to run away like a criminal yet the perpetrators are still free. I begin not to Love South Africa.

Since the destruction of their settlement, suspect Kaizer Gwebu was arrested and appeared in court.

Gwebu is alleged to have recorded a voice note confirming his involvement in burning down the settlement with three other accomplices. He is out out on bail.

ALSO READ: Lily Mine victims’ families attacked outside the mine

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has vowed to stand by the three families.

“As partners for justice for the Lily Mine families, we will be watching this case closely and update the public as developments arise as this case is in the national interest,” Mashaba said.

Mashaba said Saps had informed their legal team of the imminent arrests of three more accomplices this week and they would appear in court.

“We wish to place on record that threatening the lives of the protesting miners and their families cannot and will not be tolerated,” Mashaba said.