No progress In Retrieving Lily Mine Victims Despite Fikile’s Promise in May That It Would Happen in Three Months

ANC Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula, lied to the families of the three miners who died in the Lily Mine Tragedy in Mpumalanga seven years ago when he told them at the beginning of May that the miner’s bodies would be retrieved within three months.

More than three months have passed since Mbalula made the promise to the families at a worker’s day event where the mine is located in Louisville near Barberton. Since then, no progress has been achieved, and instead, ongoing litigation has been played in concluding rescue operations.

This after the ANC and Mbalula defied the family’s request that activists not be bussed in for the Labour Day event, and that no loud hailers be used, but that a sombre approach be taken to pay respect to the lost miners.

Since the Lily Mine Tragedy took place seven years ago, the families of the victims and former employees have consistently been let down by the ANC. Numerous ANC leaders – including former Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, and former Premier, David Mabuza – have promised progress in retrieving the miners’ bodies, but to date, no rescue operations have yet been started.

It is only ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, and most recently Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson, Thoko Mashiane, who have cared enough for the families of the victims to pay their respects and assist the family in legal action against the mine owner and the state. Mashaba has also written numerous letters to plead with the ANC government to take action and has helped draw attention to the ongoing tragedy in the media.

The families of the three miners who died ask that the ANC government urgently keeps to the promises made to them and take tangible steps to help the families retrieve their bodies to give them a dignified burial.

The families have been let down too often, and we ask that the ANC government gives the matter the urgency it deserves.



For media enquiries: Harry Mazibuko, Lily Mine Tragedy Victims’ Family Spokesperson – 072 016 3526