JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness at the deaths of seven mineworkers at Sibanye-Stillwater's Driefontein mine near Carletonville on the West Rand.
Ramaphosa released a statement on Saturday, saying government's thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
He also wished the six injured workers a speedy recovery.
“As government and South Africans at large, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased workers, among whom are workers from neighbouring states, including Mozambique.”
The president says he hopes the investigation into the Driefontein disaster will identify the causes of the incident and lead to solutions that will address the rate of mining deaths in South African mines.
“We also offer our best wishes to workers who have been directly or indirectly affected by this disaster, which should move the mining industry and government to jointly find ways to do all we can to protect our nation’s most valuable resource - the workers who are at the heart of our economy.”
Mining company Sibanye says its investigating the cause of the seismic event that happened at its Masakhane mine. The accident, which happened on Thursday afternoon, resulted in 13 workers being trapped underground.
All thirteen miners have been accounted for.
The last miner's body was brought to surface on Saturday morning.
Sibanye's James Wellsted says the probe launched will be in partnership with investigators from the Mineral Resources Department.
“We’ll go into a process of investigating this incident with the department, but we’ll also be talking to the unions and families on the burials.”
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)
This article first appeared on EWN : Ramaphosa mourns the deaths of Driefontein miners