By Nqobile Tshili
One person died while the other one is feared dead following the collapse of a shaft at a gold mine in Esigodini, Matabeleland South.
The shaft collapsed on Friday morning burying two miners, Thembani Ncube (17) and Brian Mathe (23), in the process.
Thembani’s body was retrieved on Saturday evening while a search for Mathe who is feared dead, continues.
The gold mining claim is at Crocodile Farm.
Thembani’s mother Ms Portia Nyathi said since the disaster occurred, they have not heard from the mine owner Mr Lovemore Sibanda.
“The mine caved in on Friday and yesterday villagers managed to retrieve my son’s body.
Sibanda is yet to visit us to explain what happened and how he is going to assist in the burials.
I tried to call him but it seems he is deliberately avoiding us yet my son was working for him,” said Nyathi.
She said her 17-year-old son started working at the mine last month as she could not afford to send him to school.
Brian’s mother Mrs Prisca Mathe said it was worrying that Sibanda was mum following the tragedy.
“This is another night when my son’s body will remain buried underground and Sibanda is yet to contact us to explain what happened and what is being done to retrieve my son’s body,” said Mrs Mathe.
Zanu-PF district chairperson for the area Cde Obadiah Khumalo said the community was concerned about by Sibanda’s behaviour.
“Our children have died in the mine yet he doesn’t show his face. He only came here on Saturday and vanished without saying a word,” he said.
When contacted, Mr Sibanda confirmed that he was yet to meet the affected families. He said he was busy trying to hire an excavator so that they can retrieve the remaining body.
“I was busy running around trying to hire an excavator. I will meet them tomorrow (today),” said Mr Sibanda.
He dismissed claims that one of his employees was under age.
“What I know is that he was 18 years old and as for the other allegations it’s common that whenever there is a mishap people start making claims that are neither here nor there.” The Chronicle