2 more Zim bodies retrieved
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