During a media briefing held at Kusasalethu Mine on Friday, Harmony Gold shareholder, Patrice Motsepe extended condolences to the families of Mr Matuba, Mr Mokhele and Mr Mokemane (all stope team members) and Mr Moganedi and Mr Sethafuno (both rock drill operators) who lost their lives as a result of the seismic event.
He said, “It is difficult to look at these families in the eye after such an incident. It is one of the most painful and one of the most devastating experiences… The bottom line is that these workers lost their lives on our mine. We have to take responsibility.”
Motsepe was accompanied by Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, who commended the mine management and their efforts to rescue the miners. Zwane said Motsepe ws the first mine owner to take full responsibility and accountability for a mine accident, and said this had to encourage other mine owners to do the same.
“The accident should be a turning point in how health and safety is dealt with. We will begin to be tougher on regulating safety at our mines. We know South Africans will support us in this regard,” said Zwane.
Zwane said that government was prepared to work with all the necessary stakeholders to ensure the industry was the safest.
“As industry leaders, it is our duty to say ‘this far and no further,” he concluded.
Investigations into the incident, involving representatives of the company, organised labour and the health and safety directorate of the Department of Mineral Resources will take place soon said the miner.