Posted on: November 19, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

The Chamber of Mines is spreading malicious lies in a bid to avoid taking the blame for the death of four mineworkers who died on Tuesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has said.

This is after the Chamber of Mines said on Tuesday that there had been a 26 percent drop in fatalities compared with the same period last year.

NUM secretary for health and safety Erick Gcilitshana said yesterday: “There is no improvement at all. Such views can only come from people who have overly intoxicated themselves with expensive whisky out of the sweat of poor people.”

NUM said more than 167 mineworkers lost their lives in 2009, and not 130 as claimed by the Chamber of Mines.

“We are alarmed that the insensitive Chamber of Mines calls all these deaths an ‘improvement’ when breadwinners had died, leaving their loved ones to scavenge for food at filthy dumping sites,” Gcilitshana said.

Chamber of Mines safety adviser Sietse van der Woude told Sowetan the 130 mineworkers died between January and September last year.

He maintained that there had been an improvement.

“It is important that we do acknowledge those improvements. After all, in 1999 there had been 309 fatalities,” he said.

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