ActionSA notes the proceedings of the Mpumalanga High Court which concluded its consideration of the legal challenge against the outcome of the Business Rescue Process which was concluded in February this year.
In February, the award of the mine to a successful bidder had moved the retrieval of the container, with the bodies of the trapped miners, one step closer to being realised.
ActionSA’s legal team, representing the families and former miners of Lily Mine, joined the court application. The efforts of our legal team focussed not on which company in awarded the mine, but rather on the outcome be timebound and deadline specific to ensure that it cannot continue to drag on any further.
It is worth noting that in 2019, the Mpumalanga High Court ordered the Business Rescue Practitioners to conclude their work within 10 days. The fact that this matter remains unresolved today is outrageous and an inhumane denial of justice to the families and former miners. Incidentally, it also has served to keep mine management out of our courts for the criminal prosecution as recommended by the report by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).
ActionSA’s legal team made this case before the honourable Judge President Francis Legodi that this matter cannot be allowed to drag on any longer and that the consequence of these delays have been the real suffering of the former miners and families at Lily Mine. The focus of these submissions was that the decisions of the court should ensure any further requirements arising from the High Court’s judgement are limited in duration of time.
We are pleased that these submissions appeared to be received and that the High Court demonstrated both displeasure about the delays in the BRP as well as sensitivity to the needs of the former miners and families at Lily Mine. Judgement is reserved in the matter.
It is a tragedy that we have had to place our faith in a BRP and the Courts of our country to retrieve the container with the bodies of the three trapped miners. Government’s position that the container could not be retrieved has been proven to be without foundation as a result of the legal efforts of ActionSA. The key question here remains why our government has acted so systematically in the interests of those criminally implicated in the death of Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende.
ActionSA remains committed to a private prosecution of the CEO of Vantage, Mike McChesney, for the role mine management played in disregarding the most basic legal requirements of mine-safety. Currently the NPA is engaging ActionSA, and we will continue to monitor progress in the case without any hesitation to act should the pattern of continued protection of mine management continue.
ActionSA stands firmly behind the former miners and families of the trapped miners of Lily Mine. We do so unapologetically because these brave South Africans have been mistreated by their government and have suffered as a result.
We repeat our call for all South Africans to join us in standing alongside the former miners and families because we should never remain indifferent when our fellow countrymen and women are mistreated in this manner by our own government.