A mine worker who can not be identified, has been working in the mines over three decades, was underground on the 5th of February when the mine collapsed, he is now part of the rescue team that has been trying to locate the three trapped miners, said it was not only the lamp room container that went down when the mine collapsed, other containers, generators and machines used at the mine also went down the mine when the mine collapsed, he stated that the is no hope that the three trapped miners can be ever located again at the Vantage Goldfields’ Lily Mine at Barberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Itumeleng English 070 10.03.2016

The men milling about in mostly in Amcu T-shirts are mineworkers.

The men in the white bakkies coming in and out of the premises include the face of the mine management Mike Begg.

Some are the security detail, henchmen really, like Reuben who says in heavily accented English: “I’ve been ordered to take the media out, out the premises.”

There’s also a man who preaches up a storm, a lay preacher at his church.

He’s taken to preaching to the faithful who gather on the grounds of Lily Mine. His name is Elmon Mnisi, Yvonne’s father.

He says he started working at the mine in 2007.

“I am the one who got my daughter this job,” he says, speaking to us through the window of his Ford Twin Cab. He’s on a break from the “church” activities.

The lamp room where his daughter was the supervisor is “the lifeblood of the miner”, Mnisi says.

In it are stored every essential item a miner going underground would need, from the oxygen tent to sensors.

“I know my God. He has told me the children will be found alive. I don’t care how many days it will take. They will come out alive.”

This is at odds with the “reality” the municipal spokesman was invoking.

Minisi says this is “what I also tell my grandchildren. Their mother will come back.”

Sunday Independent