Wednesday, 11 December 2019


FOUR mine workers employed at Esikhoveni Mine in Esigodini, Umzingwane District in Matabeleland South are feared dead after the shaft they were working in caved in a disused mineshaft.

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were investigating the cause of the accident while rescue efforts are underway. 

He identified the mine workers as Tapiwa Moyo (41), Dumisani Sibanda (43), Andrea Malunga (73) and Ashton Swilimba (86).

When the Chronicle news crew visited the mine yesterday, rescue teams were busy trying to open the mine shaft as they searched for the missing men.

Esikhoveni Mine plant manager Mr Vasel Mpofu said the four workers were feared dead given the time it had taken to rescue them.

“This incident occurred yesterday (Tuesday) at about 7.30AM and we are still to rescue them,” he said. 

Mr Mpofu said the workers reported for duty at 6.30AM and started working in the shed which then caved in a disused mineshaft which was not known until the incident.

He said the shed which caved in has been used by workers since 2001 when the mine started operating.

Mr Mpofu said the disused mine shaft was not even shown on the mine’s map and they suspected it could have been used by miners who operated the mine decades ago.

He said after the shed cave in the shaft, they swiftly informed the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, police and local Civil Protection Unit members who attended the scene.

He said rescue efforts started immediately but by end of day yesterday they had not found the missing workers.

At the site was Mrs Getrude Ndlovu who said her brother was among the four trapped employees. “This is very traumatising. I’m so saddened by this, my brother is among the four trapped workers,” she said. Chronicle


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