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Investigations by the Minerals and Energy Department, the mining houses and the unions are simply a performance of some prescribed rituals with no prospect of establishing the truth of what happened and its causes.
My elder brother lost a son whose body was crushed by heavy mining machinery at Amplats in Mokopane a few years ago.
At the outset, the unions attempted to block us, as a family, from participating in the inquiry. They insisted on speaking for us, which we rejected.
The union was displeased that the family wanted to participate in a process established to ascertain what actually happened.
From this experience, it was clear that the inquiry was never going to benefit from the observations.
What we heard was what the attorneys, especially those representing the mines, had prepared and wanted for us at the inquiry to hear.
As a result, for as long as the witnesses do not give their own observations but read out what attorneys write out for them, months before and if needs be during the inquiry, South Africa will never be able to deal with mining accidents.
It was not surprising, for us that the National Prosecuting Authority found no value in what purported to be the report of the investigation.
It is disturbing for me to read that instead of addressing the problem, the blame is shifted.
Daniel Thulare, Benoni