South Africa-Business-Mining

Two more corpses recovered from SA mine site

APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

South African police said on Thursday that they had discovered two more bodies at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp, barely a day after finding 19 others at the same mine located west of Johannesburg – making the death toll rise to 21.

The police said the two bodies were believed to be those of suspected illegal miners commonly known as zama-zamas, who are said to be employed by secret mining syndicates.

 Preliminary investigations indicated that the dead miners were transported and placed in the open for their bodies to easily be found, the police said.

 But post-mortem results would reveal the nature of their deaths, police said, adding that they had opened an inquest docket following the discovery of the initial 19 bodies on Wednesday.

 Lead researcher at the Bench Marks Foundation, David van Wyk, said government’s failure to enforce the law on the closure and rehabilitation of the mines contributed to the problem which syndicates exploiting cheap labour used the zama-zamas to drive the illegal mining operations.

 “The situation is really complex, and it really is a difficult one that needs resolution,” the researcher said.

“It will only be resolved if the law is applied with regard to how mining operations close down and how they are rehabilitated,” he added.

 “But often there are still enough minerals there for small-scale mining to continue. However, there is no plan to shift from large industrial mines to small-scale mining in this country -- and that’s why there’s so much chaos in the sector,” Van Wyk said. 

NM/as/APA

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