Body found in mine

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Another body has been found by members of the community who retrieved the bodies of five illegal miners buried alive while searching for gold remains.

The body of Alfred Bliwako, found in the shaft and retrieved on Saturday, brings to six the number of illegal miners whose bodies were removed from the abandoned mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga.

Bliwako, a Zimbabwean, is believed to have died in the shaft in November when the rope he was using to get into the mine snapped.

The search for him was called off because it was too expensive.

Two weeks ago seven illegal miners went into the Fairview mine in search of gold remains.

On their way up, rocks fell on them and only two survived.

The other five were trapped in the 120m mine shaft.

Rescue teams who tried to remove the bodies called off the search after two days, saying it was too dangerous.

About 200 members of the community vowed to retrieve them. Their relatives and friends wanted to bury them according to African culture.

Mika Ntimane, a spokesman for the families, said they would not have been able to perform traditional rites had they left the bodies inside the mine.

A bank account has been opened to help the families bury the victims.

Spokesman for the Nkomazi municipality, Sibonele Shabangu, said they would help by giving food parcels to the families.

Anyone who wishes to help financially is asked to deposit money into the trust account held at FNB in Barberton. Account name: Bereaved Committee Account number 62126983122.