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'I know my son is still alive in mine'

DISTRAUGHT: Nozithembiso Kave's son fell down a hole at an old mine in Springs, Ekurhuleni. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
DISTRAUGHT: Nozithembiso Kave's son fell down a hole at an old mine in Springs, Ekurhuleni. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

A DISTRAUGHT mother is anxiously waiting for the authorities to rescue her son from an old mine shaft in Springs, Ekurhuleni.

Nozithembiso Kave said her son Siyabonga, 22, fell into the shaft at Pioneer Park on Friday afternoon while playing with friends.

She said the police - both the SAPS and Metro - and emergency services people said they could not help her and that she would have to wait until today before someone goes down the shaft.

"I have not been getting help from anyone," Kave said. "They all assume he is dead.

"But I can feel that my son is alive. He is still down there, waiting to be rescued."

Kave, of Welgedacht in Springs, said when she got the news about her son she was in Soweto where the family was preparing the funeral of Siyabonga's grandmother.

"I thought he was just injured but when I got here I could not see him. There were many people.

"A white man told me that my son was dead. I asked him how he knew because he had not been there and he would not answer," Kave said.

A man at the park told Sowetan that the municipality had closed the mine but vandals selling scrap had removed the steel used to enclose the mine.

"Maybe this incident will make them act," said the man, who asked to remain anonymous.

"Long ago, before the vandals arrived, no one could go into the mine. More people are still going to die here. Its going to be tragic."

Police spokesman Sergeant Andries Tshabalala referred Sowetan to Captain Johannes Ramphora, who said he did not know about the incident and so could not comment on it.

Another officer, Warrant Officer Yakub Rasool, said he was not aware of the incident.

Department of Mineral Resources spokeswoman Zingaphi Jakuja said: "The Department of Mineral Resources can confirm that a fatal accident was reported (on) Friday evening. One man fell down a vertical ventilation shaft in Springs.

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