Three miners die at Sibanye, two missing

Three miners have died at Sibanye.
Three miners have died at Sibanye.
Image: iStock images

Bodies continue to pile up at Sibanye-Stillwater mining group after three workers were found dead yesterday.

According to Sibanye-Stillwater spokesman James Wellsted, the incident happened after five labourers entered an abandoned area underground at the company's Kloof Ikamva shaft near Westonaria, southwest of Johannesburg.

"Sadly, three employees have been retrieved and declared deceased. Mine rescue teams are still searching for two employees," he said.

"Sibanye-Stillwater expresses their deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased employees."

Wellsted said the mine's management were in the dark on why the workers decided to head into the area, which the company was not working on.

He said the area was unsafe because it was not ventilated and gas and temperature levels were not monitored.

National Union of Mineworkers health and safety chairman Peter Bailey said: "I'm angered because Sibanye is leading in terms of disasters.

"This can't continue unabated. Something drastic needs to be done and serious action needs to be taken against Sibanye.

"I leave that responsibility of the action that must be taken in the hands of the mineral resources minister and his inspectorate."

He said the number of deaths that had occurred at Sibanye indicated that the mining house had what he called "an attitude" towards black workers .

In May seven workers died at the company's Driefontein mine following seismic events.

In February a worker lost his life at Driefontein Mine while he was attempting to blast ore underground.

Also in February, nearly 1000 workers were trapped underground after the company's Masakhane mine was rocked by seismic event.

In total 18 workers have died at the mine.

Wellsted said it was unfair for Bailey to focus on criticising the company rather than channelling his energies towards ensuring that the other two workers were rescued.