Today's Labour News

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newsNews24 writes that the fate of approximately 22 alleged copper thieves trapped underground hangs in the balance as rescue efforts are allegedly being hampered by disgruntled unpaid mineworkers.  

The mine's business rescue representative Mike Elliot told eNCA on Sunday:  "They have threatened us and the contractors and they've told us under no circumstances are we allowed to continue [rescue efforts]."  A group of 42 men, reportedly Lesotho nationals, gained access to shafts at the Gloria coal mine near Middelburg in Mpumalanga last weekend, allegedly to steal copper cables.  Following a gas explosion, 20 members of the group managed to reach safety, leaving the remaining 22 trapped underground.  Six of the men have since been confirmed dead.  The mine was owned by the Gupta family and was placed under business rescue in 2018.  Since the closure of the mine in September last year, hundreds of miners have not been paid their salaries, apparently leading to an increase in cable theft.  A police spokesperson indicated on Monday that, while there was a strong police presence at the mine, rescue operations had been halted for the time being.

  • Read Riaan Grobler’s and a correspondent’s report on this story in full at News24
  • Read too, Gupta employees prevent rescuers from finding trapped zama zamas, at TimesLIVE

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page