City Press reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said after five workers were killed at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine that mining companies get away with minor sanctions over fatalities when they should face full prosecution.
“Investigations are done after every incident, but we never know what happens to the reports and whether their recommendations are implemented. Reports are often referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for possible prosecution, but in most cases you find these companies paying just a fine when people have died,” said NUM health and safety secretary Erick Gcilitshana. He went on to say: “We acknowledge that fewer fatalities were recorded in recent years, but one life is one too many. We still don’t know what caused most of those accidents. Workers continue to die and sustain serious injuries and we don’t see mining companies being punished when found to be in the wrong.” Five mineworkers died underground following a “seismic incident” at Kusasalethu in Carletonville last Friday. “We are looking forward to the investigation, to find out what exactly triggered the seismic event that led to the loss of lives at Kusasalethu mine,” Gcilitshana said.
- Read this report by Poloko Tau in full at News24
- See too, Parliament laments lack of safety of miners, at SABC News
- And also, Kusasalethu mine deaths: Parliament extends condolences, vows inquiry, at EWN