Illegal miner goes back to warn others

2014-02-18 05:30

Johannesburg - One of the illegal miners inside the abandoned mine in Benoni, on the East Rand, surfaced on Monday but went back underground to talk to his colleagues, Ekurhuleni emergency services said.

"One of the illegal miners surfaced this morning but went down to try and convince others to come up when he heard the opening would be closed," rescue technician David Tshabalala said.

"The illegal miners did not want to come up. The total of miners that resurfaced today is 11, bringing the overall number to 22. It is unclear how many are still underground."

Tshabalala said the mineral resources department would close the opened shaft in a bid to stop illegal mining, and gave the miners notice about this on Monday.

"We will give those underground ample time to get out, but will have to close it," he said.

By 18:15, emergency services suspended their operations. Tshabalala said police and mine security would remain overnight. He said the 11 who resurfaced were not injured. They were handed to police after medical checks.

Tshabalala said it was unclear how many illegal miners were still underground because those who resurfaced could not provide them with numbers. Earlier he said some of the illegal miners came halfway up the shaft, but then turned around.

Rescuers could not go down the shaft because it was too dangerous.

"There is an opening and we sent a chain down that we can pull them up with," Tshabalala said.

He said food and water were sent down to the miners on Sunday, but they could be running low.

The illegal miners were found on Sunday when Ekurhuleni metro police were patrolling the area and heard screaming from the abandoned mine.

Gauteng police said 11 illegal miners who were rescued on Sunday had been charged. They would appear in the Benoni Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of illegal mining, Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

  • Andrew Terr - 2014-02-18 05:58

    Stop sending food down.They most probably have gold and don't want to lose it.Keep to the ultimatum and close off the entrance.

      Pap Snoek - 2014-02-18 07:26

      Blinde S, it is illegal to use teargas in a confined space. In fact it's lethal, as the victim will suffocate.

      Lorna Murdoch-Eaton - 2014-02-18 08:21

      How about a bit of compassion here. Those people are risking their lives to try and earn a living. They are not out robbing and maiming others. The difference between legal and illegal mining is simply an expensive piece of paper (and safety). Closing the entrance with living people inside is murder (and a horrible way of killing at that) Let them out, let them go with a warning, confiscate their hard-won gold and close the hole for safety.

      Blinde Sambok - 2014-02-18 09:09

      To the pathetic little creep who deleted my comment: Grow up. It was said mostly tongue in cheek but you are such a loser that it was lost on you.

      Xavier7034 - 2014-02-18 09:21

      Send some Snoek down....the smell is not "illegal" :-)

      Adrian Bruwer - 2014-02-18 11:01

      Rooi aas

  • Zuki Hlubi RalaRala - 2014-02-18 06:40

    Where is all this illegal production going ? I am sure there are more people involved in this illegal mining its time they are exposed , I mean prominent people who have much to say about crime and our government if they are not in the government

      SIMPLYSOUTHAFRICAN - 2014-02-18 07:40

      Zuki, I agree 100% with you.

      ForkTail - 2014-02-18 07:47

      Surely you can see that we have some promising magnates to be, aresting these miners will not stop this. But if they are diging enough yields why not permit them to deal in gold and make a living out of it, than allowing the monopoly of the industry by the heavy weights?

      Mark Hicks - 2014-02-18 09:21

      It's deemed as illegal because it isn't taxed. Taking minerals out of abandoned mines is hardly in the same category as theft, rape or murder! Really people, wake up! And now the brain surgeons want to seal up the entrance/exit and essentially murder those inside! Are they completely nuts? That's premeditated murder. Leave these guys alone, they are earning a living and it isn't affecting anyone! I'd far rather have them doing this than sitting at traffic lights waiting for the next hijack victim. Or don't you think that's accurate?

  • Derek Bekker - 2014-02-18 07:18

    Send more kentucky down...and a tv...and some beer. Im sure they will resurface in no time.

      Obed Khosa - 2014-02-18 08:18

      Dstv and soccer ball so they can start a psl down there.

  • feikmc.heither - 2014-02-18 07:58

    Send those crates full of snakes as Leonard's suggest, it'll work. Or maybe they'll eat the snakes. Hahahaaaa.

      Obed Khosa - 2014-02-18 08:15

      May be if they can send mosquios down there

  • Obed Khosa - 2014-02-18 08:04

    Authorities must send Jacob Zuma down the hole to convince those illegal miners out. They will be out in no time,Zuma knows how to lie

  • Obed Khosa - 2014-02-18 08:04

    Authorities must send Jacob Zuma down the hole to convince those illegal miners out. They will be out in no time,Zuma knows how to lie

      Aads - 2014-02-18 08:23

      YES.....send ZUMA down THEN SEAL THE ENTRANCE!!!

  • Rorisang Boshielo - 2014-02-18 08:10

    Wats da point of arresting some1 who was trying to make a meal for their family because the "state"failed to create jobs

  • Pogiso Mogale - 2014-02-18 08:32

    how can some 1 jeupitise his safety like dat?

  • Grant Montgomery - 2014-02-18 09:38

    The whole saga just doesn't ring true.

  • Blessing Mancitshana - 2014-02-18 15:53

    Very difficult call: arresting them....

  • Rob Tubbs - 2014-02-18 19:03

    Or to collect his 'stash'.....

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