Relatives fail to identify the dead

SOME came out of the mortuary crying while others were disappointed after failing to find their relatives among the illegal miners found dead in a disused Eiland mine shaft in Welkom in the Free State.

SOME came out of the mortuary crying while others were disappointed after failing to find their relatives among the illegal miners found dead in a disused Eiland mine shaft in Welkom in the Free State.

Others came out of the mortuary so devastated after seeing the corpses that they couldn't walk. They had to be helped by relatives.

The corpses were dark and their skin peeling off as if they had been exposed to a chemical. It was hard to tell the bodies apart.

"I can't talk, please. I can't talk," said a distraught Mutebele Mugede, who had come to identify her brother's body.

"Though they are badly decomposed, I could recognise him. It's painful," she said.

Mugede said her brother Dumisane left home to work in the mines because he had been unemployed for a long time.

Sello Rasebueng from Lesotho said his 29-year-old brother Musofepha was the family's breadwinner.

Other families left the mortuary disappointed because they could not identify their loved ones.

"I was not able to identify my nephew's body because of the state they are in," said Manthati Monare, also from Lesotho.

A pathologist working at the mortuary said: "It's going to be difficult for families to identify the bodies because they have decomposed. The only option is to have DNA tests."

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