It took three hours for the muddied body of Joyce Shongwe to be brought to the surface of a mineshaft.
The woman "swallowed by a hole" was dead when paramedic Leonard Pretorius got to her. She had a gash on her forehead and the skin on her face was peeling off.
Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesperson Johan van den Heever said Shongwe was found 80m below the surface on Thursday.
She had fallen into the ground at the Makausi informal settlement in Primrose, Germiston.
Shongwe was burning copper pieces she had picked up from a dumping site on Tuesday night when she fell into the abandoned mineshaft.