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Lily Mine: Families Grant ActionSA Power of Attorney to Pursue Criminal & Civil Litigation


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Lily Mine: Families Grant ActionSA Power of Attorney to Pursue Criminal & Civil Litigation

24th October 2023


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The families of Solomon Nyirenda, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi - who were engulfed by a sinkhole at Lily Mine in February 2016 - have today granted ActionSA Power of Attorney to pursue further legal action against those liable for the tragedy and ensure that the business rescue procedures are implemented as determined by the Mbombela Magistrates’ Court.

Following last week’s Constitutional Court ruling and Magistrate’s Court inquest judgement, ActionSA will use the Power of Attorney to pursue civil and criminal litigation concurrently. This, against the parties found to be liable, to ensure that the families receive the justice they deserve. 


ActionSA has, for the last 7 years, assisted the families who have repeatedly been let down by dilatory and vexatious legal challenges while their pleas for assistance from Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, and the national government have also fallen on deaf ears. ActionSA, therefore, believe the steps taken, today, will not only ensure that the bodies are retrieved, but also that the families are fairly compensated for the impact the tragedy had on their community. 

As a party which values social justice, ActionSA will now use the Power of Attorney to achieve the following: 


Ensure that the amended Business Rescue Plan is voted on within 14 days of the Constitutional Court ruling. The plan stipulates that mining operations at Lily Mine resume, and a new shaft be dug which would help retrieve the three miners’ bodies. 

Write to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the plans to pursue prosecution instituting any against those the courts have found liable for the tragedy. If they do not institute charges, ActionSA will approach the National Prosecuting Authority to get Nolle prosequi to possibly launch our own private prosecution. 

Launch civil action to ensure that the families of the three miners are fairly compensated for the impact the tragedy has had on them for more than 7 years.  

These steps follow last week’s Constitutional Court ruling refusal to grant Vantage Goldfield’s leave to appeal a ruling which determined that the adopted Business Rescue Plan and amendments thereto should be submitted to creditors for a decision and the Mbombela Magistrates Court inquest which determined that the mine owners, the South African Police Service and Department of Minerals and Energy are to blame for the tragedy. 

ActionSA is grateful for the role the South African judiciary has played in this regard to protect the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable and ensure that the culprits are held responsible. 

ActionSA remains resolute in our commitment to help retrieve the bodies of the three miners and will continue to assist the families in any way possible. We cannot allow people to forget what happened at Lily Mine on 5 February 2016, and we need to ensure justice for the miners and their families.


Issued by ActionSA President Herman Mashaba                                       


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