After a meeting with the former miners and family members at Lily Mine, the Business Rescue Practitioners have agreed to a number of measures sought by the former miners.
It has been agreed that monthly progress reports will now be sent to the former miners and their legal representatives, whereas in the past they were issued to AMCU and never shared with the former miners.
Additionally, the families and former miners will be permitted to hold their daily prayers at the mine entrance, despite being prevented from doing so in the past because of a court interdict.
While these developments are a positive step, they remain secondary to the conclusion of the Business Rescue Process that would see a new company taking over the mining activities, the retrieval of the container and the return to work of the former miners. ActionSA’s legal team representing the former miners and families will study the monthly progress reports, while continuing our legal action against the DMRE.
The DMRE, however, continues to play games with the dignity of the former miners and families at Lily Mine. The DMRE continues to hide behind the Business Rescue Process to avoid doing anything for the former miners, while professing publicly to want to resolve this matter. It is important to constantly note that this is the DMRE that denied the trapped miners the dignity of a proper burial for nearly 5 years on a now determined false claim that the container is not retrievable.
The DMRE will not exercise its rights to initiate the retrieval of the container, independently of the Business Rescue Process, insisting rather that it must await the conclusion this process. This is despite the fact that every mine operating in South Africa pays towards a mine rescue fund, specifically designed to fund this kind of retrieval operation. This begs the question; where are these funds and why are they not being used?
ActionSA, along with the former miners and families at Lily Mine, remain resolute in their commitment to see this matter in the courts of our country where the DMRE will have to account for their inaction and obfuscation.
We have recently begun engagements with the National Director of Pubic Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi, on the subject of the prosecution of Mike McChesney and mine management at Lily Mine. The engagements have been promising to date and ActionSA remains determined to see those guilty of this tragedy, facing the consequences in court whether through public or private prosecution. Officials in the DMRE will similarly face accountability through ActionSA’s efforts for their obstruction of the process and apparent protection of McChesney.
We will continue to support the former miners and families and Lily Mine because ActionSA values the lives and dignity of every South African and will not standby while our citizens are abused and disregarded by their own government.