News / Africa

S. African Mine Rescue Halted After Miners Refuse to Leave

  • South African authorities said 22 gold miners who came out of a disused and temporarily blocked shaft, near Johannesburg over the last two days have been arrested and will be charged with illegal mining, Feb. 17, 2014.
  • Suspected illegal miners await treatment after emerging from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 17, 2014. 
  • A suspected illegal miner talks to emergency personnel after emerging from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 17, 2014. 
  • A suspected illegal miner climbs out of a ventilation shaft used to access an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 17, 2014. 
  • South African rescuers started bringing to the surface at least 30 illegal miners who had been trapped by debris in the abandoned gold shaft near Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 16, 2014.

  • A suspected illegal miner is led away after being rescued from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 16, 2014.
  • Rescue officials use a crane to remove debris as they work to rescue trapped suspected illegal miners from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 16, 2014.
  • A trapped illegal miner at a disused gold mine shaft is bought to the surface, near, Benoni, South Africa, Feb. 16, 2014.
  • A suspected illegal miner talks to officials after being rescued from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 16, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
South African authorities say rescue efforts at an illegal gold mining operation were suspended overnight Sunday, after police arrested the first 11 miners lifted to safety and the rest refused to leave the shaft.
 
Officials made contact earlier Sunday with about 30 of the trapped miners, who reported that nearly 200 others were stuck in tunnels deep below the surface. 
 
Authorities had not confirmed that total by late Sunday.  But emergency crews who unblocked the shaft said they had left a ladder at the site for other miners to use if they decide to leave overnight.
 
South African media quotes authorities as saying they suspect the miners in Gauteng province were robbed by a rival group who then used boulders to trap the miners below ground. Police are reported to be investigating the allegations, but no official statements had been released. 
 
The miners are thought to have entered the mine Saturday after illegally digging an entry tunnel near the abandoned shaft. They were discovered after police patrolling the area heard calls for help.
 
Illegal mining is common in South Africa, a major producer of gold and platinum.  Some analysts say the problem is exacerbated by mining layoffs that force skilled workers to turn to illegal activities.
 
The South African Department of Mineral Resources posted a statement on Twitter Sunday saying "the issue of illegal mining remains a serious concern” and that it “continue[s] to work with law enforcement agencies in this regard."

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Moe from: Washington D.C.
February 17, 2014 6:54 AM
Legacy of Mr. Nelson Mandella.


by: Mbanana from: South Africa
February 16, 2014 4:11 PM
it is about time that the world see the utter destitution of this nation. the utter depravity disease and corruption... the AIDS pandemic, the crime and poverty... take a good look - because this is our reality

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid