Zim brothers buried in SA disused mine

Two Zimbabwean illegal miners died at a disused mine shaft last Thursday at Durban Deep near Roodepoort on the West Rand, and their remains have not been recovered because of the unstable ground, according to emergency services technicians.

The men, who were brothers, were among a group of 11 who bored their way into the sealed shaft of the disused mine looking for gold. The other men escaped after a rock fell onto the two, and went on to raise the alarm.

Emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said efforts to rescue the men were suspended until ‘further notice.’

"Rescue technicians have called off their effort due to the unstable ground and dangerous working conditions. It is impossible to say what condition the miners are in," he said.

Mulaudzi added that every avenue was being explored to rescue the miners even though the operation had been called off. “The rescuers know where the two miners are within the shaft system,” he said.

“There could be more miners underground, but efforts are focused on getting the two out of the mine.”

However, by last Friday relatives of the deceased had been informed that the shaft would be sealed with their remains inside, as it was too dangerous for rescue personnel to attempt recovering the corpses.

Over the weekend relatives of the two men, accompanied by religious officials from Gwanda in Zimbabwe, visited the site and performed rituals in accordance with their customs concerning the death of the two men.

An uncle of the two deceased men, Innocent Ndebele said there seemed to be a curse in the family. “For the two of them to get there together and die this way it shows that something is seriously wrong. I don’t understand what is really happenning to our family.”

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