Today's Labour News

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newsSowetanLive reports that illegal miners – better known as zama -zamas – had to blast open a rock that had crushed their colleagues to death in a disused mine shaft near Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.  

The group then wrapped the five bodies in plastic sacks and dumped them in a veld fearing their deaths would bring the attention of authorities to their illegal activity.  The bodies were brought to the surface on Saturday and police made the gruesome discovery of the five rotting bodies after locals alerted them to the crime scene.  Five inquest dockets have been opened.  Miners who had been with the deceased before they were killed told Sowetan the five had been working on the site where they died even though it was dangerous.  One man, 28, who has been working at illegal mines since he was 16, said he would continue to go underground because he could not find work.  “I know that going there is risky.  It’s either you come back with money or they carry your body out but we do not have a choice because we cannot find work.  I take care of my parents, children and three brothers,” he indicated.  Another man, 24, said though he feared for his life, he would continue to mine in the shaft because that was his only means of earning a living.  Community leader Kenneth Ngobeni said:  “We are shocked that so many people died at once. The number of young people who come here is alarming. Most of them are minors who do not have experience in mining. We have learned to accept them in our community because they come from countries that have a lot of challenges.”

  • Read this report by Promise Marupeng & Pertunia Mafokwane in full at SowetanLive


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