Grim task of identifying 20 miners found dead in Orkney under way

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The bodies of suspected illegal miners were discovered at two locations in Orkney in North West.
The bodies of suspected illegal miners were discovered at two locations in Orkney in North West.
  • The families of the miners found dead in Orkney will start the grim task of identifying their bodies on Monday.
  • Six bodies were found near an unused ventilation shaft and another 14 along a road.
  • The Lesotho Consul General will be on hand to help as it is thought most of the deceased are from Lesotho.

The families of the miners found dead in Orkney, North West, last week will start the grim task of identifying their bodies on Monday.

The 20 bodies were found near a disused mine shaft in Orkney last week.

The cause of death is not clear yet.

North West Premier Job Mokgoro and Lesotho Consul General Selimo Thabane intend helping the families with the identification process after establishing that most of the deceased were from Lesotho.

They were allegedly mining illegally.

EWN reported that at least one miner has been identified but the identity was not released.

City Press reported that a video was being analysed which could be of a person named "Mafifi" pleading for advice on how to bring bodies to the surface.

READ | Video clip on social media could be a lead in probe into death of 20 suspected zama zamas in the NW

He says the deceased were "hit by some smoke".

Some of the miners had notes tucked into the wrappings their bodies were swaddled with, which could contain their identities.

READ | North West premier calls for immediate action after 20 bodies found near mine

"The first five decomposed bodies were found at about 7pm on Tuesday outside an old and unused ventilation mine shaft in Lawrence Park, Orkney," provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said at the time.

"On Wednesday, 14 more bodies were found along Ariston Road and the railway line in Orkney. While still processing the scene, police received information that another body was discovered where the initial five bodies were found earlier, bringing the total to 20."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
After the opening weekend of URC action, what did you make of the South African struggles?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It exposed the quality of South African rugby...
41% - 710 votes
There were positives to take
7% - 120 votes
We shouldn't read too much into one weekend
17% - 301 votes
It will take the SA sides time to adjust to the new competition
34% - 594 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.