Bodies of miners not claimed

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

The bodies of four illegal miners recovered from the St Helena Mine a month ago have not been claimed from the police mortuary in Welkom, Free State.

The men were among 25 illegal miners who died in a fire at Shaft 8 of the St Helena Mine.

Twenty-one of the bodies have been identified by their next of kin.

The bodies will be kept until the end of the month, when they will be buried as paupers.

Some of the unclaimed bodies have name tags indicating that the men came from Lesotho.

"We went on air on Lesedi FM asking people to come forward and identify the bodies," said Puleng Motsoeneng, police spokesman.

Lesedi FM is available in Lesotho.

Most families that have identified bodies complained that the corpses had decomposed beyond recognition.

"We cannot use fingerprints to identify the bodies and we do not have DNA samples to use for comparison," said Jeanne du Toit of Welkom Pathology Service.