Three men plunge down open aurora mineshafts

Stripping down the Zuma/Mandela-owned Aurora goldmines: three men plunge to their deaths down two open, unsecured mineshafts

I apologise for being so tardy with this news, but I had to go to TWO different Solidarity websites to obtain the story from one page, and the pictures from the other – which turned out to be impossible as they were gigantic website-pages and I could not get .jpeg pictures from them. Eventually I gave up all these efforts and just did a page-view of their newsletter mailed to members. Sorry about the exceedingly poor quality – but that’s the best I could manage.



SPRINGS. The police spent several hours to retrieve the body of 30-year-old Mr Hlelali Solimzima of Springs, who plunged 400m to his death down the wide-open Ndlovu-mineshaft of the Grootvlei mine, belonging to the black-economic-empowerment company Aurora.

 Solidarity saids Mr Solimzima’s death is directly caused by Aurora’s stripping down of all the company’s assets and selling them for old scrap. Aurora left the mineshaft wideopen without any security measures in place. The Grootvlei mine has been ‘broken down right to the ground so now there is only an open hole, unprotected.’ Gideon du Plessis of Solidarity said it is suspected that the man tried to climb down the shaft to hack gold-ore from the rockface below. Two other people also died in the same way at the Daggafontein-shaft, where Aurora’s looters have also stripped everything. Those two men plunged 800 metres to their deaths and remain below: ‘the logistic challenges of retrieving their bodies prevented a search-operation from being conducted,’ he said.

“Mr Solimzima died a horrific death. On his plunge downwars, all his clothes were torn off as he hit the crossbeams and not one bone in his body remained unbroken,’ said Du Plessis. “And the saddest part of all is that the directors of Aurora who are responsible for the stripping down of the mine’s assets, will probably never be held responsible for his death. These men remain ‘untouchable’, he said. “While illegal mining can never be condoned, nobody deserves to die such a horrific death. The Department of Mineral Resources must also be held responsible for the tragedy. The trade union warned the department and its parliamentary portfolio committee on 13 April 2011 and sent photographs of the dangerous, wide-open mineshafts, warning that these posed an extreme danger to the residents. Aurora had by that time also transgerred various occupational health- and safety laws and their mining license should have been immediately withdrawn at that point. The liquidators of the Aurora company also contacted the Department about the dangers of the open mineshafts and after this incident, our trade union will take its own steps to close up those mine-shafts at once to prevent more lives from being lost,’ he said.* Before and after pictures of the Ndlovu-shaft are available at Afrikaans newsletter on:

The Ndlovu shaft before it was sold off as scrap metal by the black owners of Aurora goldmines:

Aurora mineshaft before stripping of infrastructure

Radio without borders news – One mineworker killed, two injured, Rand Uranium Mine, Krugersdorp – and more black foreigners killed by black-racist South Africans; also: a Cape Town man has died of the H1N1 virus, and more than 100 people were infected with it

15 June 2011 – One mineworker was killed and two others seriously injured at the Rand Uranium mine at Krugersdorp, according to Radio Sonder Grense. The accicent happened inside the Cooke-One shaft. Mining activities were suspected until Friday pending the investigation by the Department of Mineral Resources.

15 June 2011 Outside Pietersburg at a large squatter camp, six black foreigners were chased from their shacks which were burnt down and a Zimbabwean man was stoned to death. Black-racist South Africans attacked the foreigners in the squatter camp and demanded that they leave the area. One suspect was arrested.

15 June 2011 One Cape Town man has died of the H1N1 virus after visiting Turkey, and twelve cases have also been identified in KwaZulu-Natal, with more than 200 cases countrywide thus far this said, said health department official Chris Maxon.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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