By Tankiso Makhetha
Johannesburg - There should be a moment of silence ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday for the three mineworkers stranded underground in Barberton, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has said.
Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa said: “Maybe before President Jacob Zuma delivers the speech, there could be a moment of silence; a reminder that we won’t forget about the mineworkers who are still underground.”
The search-and-rescue effort entered its sixth day at Vantage’s Lily Mine on Wednesday. A structural pillar gave in and forced part of the mine to collapse last Friday.
Solomon Nyerende, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi were in a lamp-room that was swallowed up by thousands of tons of rubble.
Mathunjwa said the biggest challenge at the moment was removing the rocks and rubble in order to reach the container.
“We are optimistic because the container has been detected. The crew detected sound from the container,” he said.
“I have been inside the mine; when you go down there, you don't want to come up because you know there (are) humans there. Coming out of the mine is like betraying them.”
Family members, who had been camped outside the mine since the incident, have been moved inside.
“They are all very strong and hopeful. They are being updated and that gives them hope and strength,” Mathunjwa added.