Gold lured them into darkness

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

The search for 11 illegal miners believed to be trapped inside an old Mpumalanga mine has entered its second week.

A man arrested last week - after he emerged from the abandoned gold mine - told police that eleven others were still trapped inside.

He said the group had entered the 120m deep shaft in search of gold but when they tried to leave their rope had broken, stranding them inside.

Police suspect that they might have fled deeper into the mine when they realised that security guards were waiting for them outside the entrance to the shaft.

Illegal mining has always been a problem near the historic mining town of Barberton. People from as far away as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana come in search of gold deposits in the disused mines.

l The police recently called off a search for an illegal miner from Zimbabwe after it became too costly. Alfred Dliwako is believed to have died in the mine, but his body was never found.