2 more Zim bod­ies re­trieved

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Thu­peyo Mu­leya Beit­bridge Bureau

RESCUERS have re­trieved two more bod­ies of Zim­bab­weans at the dis­used Langlaagte Gold Mine in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa.

This brings to five the num­ber of bod­ies re­cov­ered fol­low­ing an ex­plo­sion of toxic gases at the fa­cil­ity on Mon­day last week. Although de­tails are still sketchy, chair­man of the Zim­babwe Com­mu­nity in South Africa, Mr Ngqabutho Ni­cholas Mab­hena said a team of rescuers re­trieved the bod­ies late on Tues­day night. They are still to be iden­ti­fied. The team in­cluded work­ers from that coun­try’s Min­istry of Mines and Zim­bab­weans based in South Africa.

Mr Mab­hena said they had started work­ing on pro­cess­ing repa­tri­a­tion doc­u­ments for the bod­ies to be buried in Zim­babwe.

“We are likely to trans­port them to Zim­babwe for burial next week. We will col­lect the bod­ies from the gov­ern­ment mor­tu­ary to­day (yes­ter­day) and put them in a pri­vate par­lour,” he said.

He iden­ti­fied the de­ceased as; Njab­ulo Sibanda (31), of Nkayi, Siban­gani Tshikwa (24) of Tsholot­sho and Wil­liam Ny­oni (28) of Lu­pane.

Mr Mab­hena said an­other man was still ad­mit­ted in hos­pi­tal, his con­di­tion crit­i­cal.

“We are wor­ried with the con­tin­ued loss of life due to such mine ac­ci­dents. It is im­por­tant for peo­ple to con­sider ap­ply­ing for li­cences and to avoid ven­tur­ing into dan­ger­ous min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

It is re­ported that the now de­ceased were part of 16 Zim­bab­weans who had en­tered the mine to pan for gold.

While un­der­ground there was a sud­den ex­plo­sion of gases which killed three peo­ple while eight oth­ers man­aged to es­cape on the same day.

Ny­oni’s body and four more peo­ple were re­trieved be­tween Sun­day and Mon­day morn­ing.

Sources from South Africa said yes­ter­day that the peo­ple liv­ing near the Langlaagte area had hired three tra­di­tional heal­ers who cleansed the mine shaft on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Flair Funeral Ser­vices man­ager, Mr Ntando Nel­son Nkomo, said the par­lour do­nated coffins, ser­vices and trans­port to repa­tri­ate the trio for burial in Zim­babwe.

The com­pany is based in South Africa though wholly owned by Zim­bab­weans in that coun­try.

Jus­tice Priscilla Chigumba

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