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Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
22 Nov 2021
11:38 am

Inquest into Lily Mine tragedy continues today

Citizen Reporter

Three bodies have been trapped almost 70 metres underground in a container known as the lamp room for five years. 

Outside of the Lily Mine on 9 February 2016 in Barberton, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Vathiswa Ruselo)

Since 1 November, a number of parties have given testimony into the Lily Mine tragedy that took place on 5 February 2016. 

The bodies of Yvonne Mnisi, Solomon Nyirenda and Pretty Nkambule have not yet been recovered following the sinkhole collapse.

The three, presumed deceased, have been trapped almost 70 metres underground in a container known as the lamp room for five years. 

The inquest is set to continue in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday, after a break. 

ALSO READ: Lily Mine families spokesperson in hiding for fear of his life

The first to testify was Mnisi’s father, Elmon.

Other parties who have so far appeared in court include former junior blaster for the mine, Deon Ackerman, former mine employee Barend Johannes Koorzen, and former Lily Mine shift boss Jacobus Potas.

Caxton publication Lowvelder has followed the inquest extensively.  

Ackerman said the mine had been working and driving into the crown pillar, which collapsed in 2016. 

The most recent person to testify was former Lily Mine geologist Michael Begg, who was also present during search and rescue efforts after the tragedy. 

Begg disagreed with Ackerman’s statement, stating the mining did not take place at the crown pillar. 

He made a point of testifying about the illegal mining activity that had taken place at the mine, and that illegal miners had been well equipped. 

ALSO READ: Lily Mine tragedy sank family’s dreams

Begg also said the search and rescue efforts to recover the three workers’ bodies would have continued had the crown pillar not deteriorated further. 

This article first appeared on Caxton publication Lowvelder. Read the original articles here and here.

Edited by Nica Richards.