By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
THREE miners died in two separate mine accidents which occurred in Maphisa and Colleen Bawn, Matabeleland South province.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incidents which occurred at Antelope East Extension Mine, Maphisa and Dip 7 Stream Mine in Colleen Bawn on Tuesday and Wednesday.
He said in the first incident Jabulani Moyo (30) fell into a 30 metre deep shaft after a rope he was using snapped. Chief Insp Ndebele said in the other incident Pios Sibanda and Chris Dube both aged 25 were working in a five metre deep shaft when it collapsed.
“I can confirm that we recorded two mining accidents in Matabeleland South province which resulted in the death of three miners.
“In the first incident Jabulani Moyo of Mloyi Village in Kezi was working at Antelope East Extension Mine with other miners. They lowered him down the shaft in a bucket which was tied to a rope.
“After Moyo was done in the shaft he signalled his workmates to pull him up. While he was on his way up, the rope snapped and Moyo fell down the shaft. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident and was ferried to Maphisa District Hospital where he was further referred to Mpilo Central Hospital where he died the following day,’’ he said.
Chief Insp Ndebele said Pios Sibanda and Chris Dube were illegally panning at Dip 7 Stream Mine in the middle of the night on Wednesday when the shaft collapsed on them.
He said Sibanda and Dube sustained severe injuries and died on the spot. He said on the following day Sibanda’s sister became worried after realising that her brother had not returned home the previous night. Chief Insp Ndebele said she went to check at the mine and found some clothes which belonged to her brother outside the shaft.
He said the matter was reported to the police who attended the scene leading to the recovery of the two bodies.
Five artisanal miners died at Nugget Gold Mine in Matobo after a tunnel collapsed following a gold rush on Monday last week. About 1 000 fortune seekers swarmed the area after news spread that rich gold deposits had been found at the abandoned mine. The Chronicle