News24

Illegal miners warned that access hole will be shut

2014-02-17 17:52

Johannesburg - Authorities have sent communication to the illegal miners in the abandoned Gold One Kleinfontein Mine in Benoni that the access hole will be sealed on 3 March, according to EWN.

The Ekurhuleni emergency services could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear whether more illegal miners will resurface from the mine, authorities have said.

Emergency services officials say they convinced 11 men to leave the mine earlier on Monday, making 22 the number of rescued miners.

EWN reports that up to 300 men could still be stuck underground.

Officials say that a rival group may have barricaded the miners in on Saturday while trying to rob them of their gold.

The illegal miners were found on Sunday while emergency services were conducting operations around illegal mining in the area. They heard screaming from the abandoned mine.

Rescue mission abandoned

Rescue workers abandoned their rescue mission on Sunday evening after the remaining men refused to be brought to the surface.

Emergency workers said they would not be returning to the mine until the miners indicated they were ready to come up.

It is said that the miners would rather stay down in the shaft than come to the surface and face arrest.

A makeshift ladder has been left hanging from above the ground for the miners to hoist themselves to safety.

All 22 people that have come to the surface have been arrested and charged with illegal mining.

EWN says that the suspects will appear in a Benoni court on Tuesday.

Comments
  • Ockie Schoeman - 2014-02-17 18:04

    Just wondering why these mines/openings were not “plugged” in the first place when the mining company abandoned this mine? They should carry the cost of these “rescue” missions!

      Neil White - 2014-02-17 18:32

      It was closed off "'Grant Stuart, spokesperson for Gold One, said the miners were trapped in the "New Kleinfontein 6" ventilation shaft, which had been closed off with concrete slabs. "The illegal miners have dug a tunnel right next to it to access the shaft and it has collapsed behind them," he said, adding that heavy rain may have triggered the collapse."

      Prego George - 2014-02-17 19:53

      Ockie te brite nie

  • Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 18:36

    So, the message to miners in South Africa is: If you protest about your wages we will shoot you and if you mine illegally we will entomb you. I thought that the South African constitution and bill of rights enshrined the sanctity of human life. Apparently this is not the case and I would hope that the world will see the cynical nature of government toward the people of South Africa. The people of South Africa deserve much better than this.

      Helen Eldridge - 2014-02-17 18:55

      Yes, sanctity of human life, bill of rights etc, but if you knowingly go into a place which is highly dangerous, don't come crying to mommy if it all goes wrong. And don't expect other people to risk their lives and waste their money to get you out. I think "enter at your own risk" says it all. No sympathy.

      lacrimosewolf - 2014-02-17 19:08

      Yes the people of South Africa deserve better. If the trend is consistent, these illegal miners will probably not be citizens. In every other capture of illegal miners, they all seem to come from other countries.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-02-17 19:14

      @Mike Jones....wake up idiot!....

      Wotnext - 2014-02-17 19:15

      @Mike Jones - your faith in "the world" is touching. However, the world doesn't give a toss about SA any more. Once the main object was achieved the world turned its back and has doggedly ignored the consequences ever since.

      Paul Ryan - 2014-02-17 19:17

      @ Mike. ...or they could just get on the ladder and climb out. Seems like a perfectly plausible option. The constitution cannot legislate against stupidity. You're trapped in a hole, here's a ladder, what do you do... do you a) climb up the ladder and get rescued. b) claim that the ladder violates your civil rights and is unconstitutional.

      Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 19:18

      @Nic...Thanks for the wake up call.

      Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 19:22

      @Wotnext... Faith is not something I indulge in, however, it is necessary for the world to see that SA is not the "miracle" they thought it to be.

      Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 19:25

      @Paul... They could have a problem climbing out if the hole is sealed.

      Paul Ryan - 2014-02-17 20:13

      Theyre not really going to seal the hole with them in it, are you mental, as if thats going to happen. Theyre just trying to coax them out, like a hostage situation, or in this case a bizarre reverse hostage situation where the hostages refuse to leave and the negotiator is threatening to kill them! Lol.

      Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 20:20

      @Paul... I think you should ask @Nic to schedule your wake up call.

      Sarel van Deventer - 2014-02-17 20:36

      mike, so when they violently toi toi for better wages the police should step back and let them destroy and intimidate everything and everyone?

      Mike Jones - 2014-02-17 20:45

      @Sarel... A violent toi toi? Is that like St. Vitus' Dance?

  • Brad Smith - 2014-02-17 18:43

    this has become a comedy show of note,

      Paul Ryan - 2014-02-17 19:08

      Its ridiculous. What do they think hiding down the mine will do. Only in SA do people trapped in a mine need to be convinced to come out.

  • Martin Bekker - 2014-02-17 19:05

    ja sure, come on please,if you where serious ,24 hours and start closing up, ,

  • Tinabtlr - 2014-02-17 19:30

    Well, if you are prepared to apply for a one way ticket to Mars, I suppose you can apply for a one way ticket underground. After all, nobody forced you.

  • Mahomed Sheik - 2014-02-17 20:00

    premeditated murder!

  • Mike Angell - 2014-02-17 20:14

    Fill it with water???

  • Sean Wasserman - 2014-02-17 20:30

    Stuck in a hole without food and water. Locked up in a hole with food and water. Tough decision.

  • simon.snyman.9 - 2014-02-17 20:38

    Gold remains a national resource controlled by our current government. Should any person currently shouting the odds happen on a gram of raw gold strolling in your back yard you would be in a serious dilemma. A lot of explaining would follow and you may be diep in die k?k. In order to purchase a single gram of raw gold for your grandmas tooth or whatever you will have to jump through a number of loops in order to obtain this legally. And then all you want to do is buy it legally. Now who gives these "miners" the right to steal from me and my fellow citizens so they can rape our raw minerals at leisure. Why are these people not prosecuted as every other thief would be. Come on these mines are well documented the paths and passages are known get a bunch of SAPS down there and lock them up and prosecute them as the criminals that they are. Stop negotiating with these criminals and sort the problem out. Then go to the other mines were their brothers are doing the same thing and shut them down as well. Then shut these mines properly so they can't rape our country any more.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-02-17 21:14

      you read my mind Simon...

  • Mageba - 2014-02-17 20:39

    Bluffing ... Nobody will have guts to seal the hole

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-02-17 21:09

      don't be too sure about that Mageba...it's like saying nobody will do anything about the frenzied miners at Marikana...and we all know what went down there...

  • Nic Mechanic - 2014-02-17 20:54

    why are the authorities pussyfooting around this issue? surely if illegal mining is taking place, round them up and charge them...now the illegals are ''demanding'' security that they won't be arrested if they surface....only one way to sort this and make an example....Ready-Mix-Concrete.....pull in guys, fill that shaft.....

      Grant Montgomery - 2014-02-17 22:40

      @ Nic. You call the miners illegal. I don't agree. Anyway I would rather have criminals underground where they can't do anybody any harm.

  • Zinhle Zulu - 2014-02-18 07:21

    Leave them alone!! No job in this country so everyone needs money and by the way no one owns gold it’s our minerals on our severity land we have to use in our own benefit…..not just for few European individual who stole our gold and diamonds… I also need to go there and get my own gold the ANC government is very slow to bring back our belonging very very slow…..come Juju come…..let’s do the business for our self not for the puppets

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