An inquest into the deaths of mineworkers Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda found that they probably died on the day the ground collapsed under a container at Lily Mine.
The Mbombela Magistrates’ Court ruled on Thursday that the failure of the owners of Lily Mine to conduct proper assessments as required by law contributed to the deaths of three miners who were trapped in a container which was covered by rocks and debris after the ground collapsed under it on 5 February 2016.
The judgment in the inquest into the deaths of Pretty Nkambule (22) Yvonne Mnisi (30) and Solomon Nyirenda (37) was read out by Magistrate Annemarie van der Merwe on Thursday.
She further ruled that the failure of the police and Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to combat rampant illegal mining in the area also contributed to the fatal 2016 collapse.
Van der Merwe underlined that the state institutions failed in their constitutional duty to protect the republic’s inhabitants and “to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations”.
“It is clear from the evidence presented in court that the institutions of the SAPS and DMRE were, at the time of the Lily Mine disaster, merely giving lip service to the issue of illegal mining and…