Lily Mine: DMRE Continues Lying to the South African People

ActionSA notes with disgust the DMRE’s continued dishonesty in their dealing with the Lily Mine matter.


The Chief Inspector of Mines appeared on SABC Morning Live today, denying that the Department had ever made a statement about the container being irretrievable. He claimed the Department has been in regular contact with the families and defended the NPA’s inaction in implementing the prosecutions recommended in the 2017 report.


It is abundantly clear in the 2017 report, in the DMRE’s submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy and in their dealings with the families and former miners that the DMRE has insisted the container is irretrievable. Now that we have revealed the shortcomings in their findings, the Department wishes to deny they ever deemed the container irretrievable.


All engagements with the former miners and families takes place through our legal teams. The engagements that have been held have been few and far between and have left more questions than answers. Harry Mazibuko, the representative of the former miners and families, spoke emotionally this week of how they do not know what is happening in this matter.


The DMRE’s defence of the NPA is obscene. It has been more than 4 years since the collapse of the mine and 3 years since the DMRE report recommended the prosecution of mine management. Why the DMRE feels it necessary to defend the NPA in this matter is beyond reason.


The Chief Inspector of Mines again sited a figure of R100 million to retrieve the container in the interview. Aside from the fact that this would contradict the DMRE’s report and suggest the container is indeed retrievable, our findings have revealed that no expert study has taken place that could possibly have determined such a costing.


The manner in which the DMRE continues to play fast and loose with the truth, at a time where their findings have been shown to not be based on evidence, continues to hurt the families and former miners of Lily Mine. These South Africans have been hurt enough by the revelation that their long wait to bury their loved ones seemingly has no basis.


From the first time I met the families and former miners it has been clear that something other than fact lies behind our government’s denial of dignity and justice in this matter.


Our legal team has documented this interview and I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy and suggest that the DMRE should be held accountable for their misrepresentations to the Committee.