Lily Mine: ActionSA Demands NPA Decides on Possible Prosecution Within 14 Days

ActionSA has written to the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions – Mpumalanga, Advocate Magwanyana, to, within 14 days, make a decision on whether the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will prosecute those complicit in the Lily Mine tragedy of 05 February 2016.

The Mbombela Magistrate’s Court already found, in mid-October last year, that the NPA should consider criminal prosecution against individuals, including the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, but after the NPA vowed to do so by the end of January, they have yet to announce a decision.

Since I became involved in the matter, I received power of attorney from the families to pursue, if necessary, civil and criminal litigation against the parties found liable. It is therefore imperative that the NPA makes a decision on whether to prosecute so as to allow ActionSA to consider its options, legal or otherwise.

In the wake of my first visit to the Lily Mine in 2020 to meet with the victim’s family where they have camped outside the mine, I pledged to bring justice to the families. ActionSA’s objective remains to see the mine shaft reopened to retrieve the container in which the three victims were entombed, securing compensation for the families of the affected miners, and ensuring that those who are liable for the tragedy are criminally prosecuted.

I am unwilling to live in a society where tragedies such as Lily Mine occur, and we fail to support the victims and the families because of the myriad crises facing South Africa due to the ruling party’s failures. We cannot become numb to the pain and suffering of those around us and therefore need to give the victims and their families the justice they deserve.

ActionSA is furthermore disappointed that – after the Constitutional Court refused to grant Vantage Goldfield’s leave to appeal a ruling which determined that the adopted Business Rescue Plan and amendments to it should be submitted to creditors for a decision – the Business Rescue Practitioners have yet to implement the plan. ActionSA believes that the business plan should urgently be tabled to creditors for implementation as it would help to retrieve the miners’ bodies.

ActionSA remains resolute in our commitment to help retrieve the bodies of the three miners and will continue to assist the families in any way possible. We cannot allow people to forget what happened at Lily Mine on 05 February 2016, and we need to ensure justice for the miners and their families.