Merriespruit is a suburb adjacent to Virginia in the Free State. Consists of the usual shopping centers, garage with workshop, pharmacy and bottle store.It is a residential area for mining staff. Much of the township is surrounded by mining operation, operating mines and closed mines. And tailings dams. I lived in Merriespruit from 1982 to 1989.
February 1994 was an abnormally wet month. The rain had come down daily fordays on end.
At the time I wasdoing stand-by for the mine. On Tuesday22 nd February the telephone rang and I woke up and answered it. It was afriend who told us that a tailings dam in Merriespruit had burst its walls andflooded the town with mud and water. It was about 05:00hrs in the morning. Dozens of the houses were washed off their foundations andthe place was utter chaos. I asked her what has it to do with me to which shereplied that my daughter was staying with friends in Merriespruit. Then Ireally woke up.
I phoned myemployer, Saaiplaas mine, and informed them that I would not be coming in thatday. At about 06:00 the wife and I drove to Merriespruit. We were notallowed entry which exacerbated our state of mind We were stopped at a no-entrybarricade manned by persons who took our details and the address where mydaughter was staying and they would follow up and blah, blah the same oldstories.
Several hours later, or, it could have been the next day aflyer was circulating in Virginiawith names of the persons who had perished in the disaster. My Daughter’s namewas on the list. My wife could just notaccept it and I was beyond reason. As a last resort we decided to visit thehouse where my daughter had stayed. We got into the BMW and made forMerriespruit. I did not even stop at the no-entry sign and crashed through..
We arrived at theaddress, knocked on the door and guess who opened the door; Yes you are right.That day I died several times. Theaftermath of the Merriespruit disaster haunted me and my late wife for years tocome and eventually we decided to leave the area.. Merriespruit followed us and still lives withme.
I have no wish toget involved in arguments on this particular topic. All information regardingthe subsequent court case is clearly expressed on the Internet: It did not gowell for the mine management..
GOOGLE: THE MERRIESPRUITDISASTER.
NOTE: My daughter Bianca-Ann may give her versionof the events of that dreadful night of February 22nd 1994.