- September 3, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
AN illegal gold panner died while his counterpart sustained injuries after a shaft they were working in collapsed on them at a mine in Esigodini.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident which occurred on Monday at around 4PM in Falcon Mine area.
He said Mzingaye Talent Mafohla (35) died on Tuesday while admitted to the United Bulawayo Hospitals.
“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case where an illegal gold panner died while his counterpart sustained injuries after a shaft they were working in collapsed. Mzingaye Talent Mafohla and his mate were illegally panning for gold in a 12-meter-deep shaft when it collapsed and buried them.
“They were rescued by villagers who dug them out while they were both still alive. Mafohla who was in a critical state was rushed to UBH where he died on the following day while his counterpart was treated and discharged at the Gwanda Provincial Hospital,” he said.
Chief Insp Ndebele urged members of the public to desist from engaging in illegal panning activities as they were putting their lives in danger in addition to violating the law.
He said people that wanted to engage in mining activities had to formalise their operations and follow the correct procedures in order to acquire necessary papers before operating.
“It’s sad that we continue to record a number of mine accidents as a result of illegal mining activities which are rampant in the province.
“If people want to engage in mining, they should formalise their operations. By engaging in illegal mining, they will not only be committing an offence but they will also be putting their lives at risk as they will be operating without necessary equipment and protective clothing.
“Some of these illegal miners operate in the early hours of the days in order to evade police not knowing that they will be risking their lives,” he said.