Lily mine safety officer commits suicide: police
Lily Mine's safety officer has committed suicide, Mpumalanga police said on Wednesday.
Tonga police spokesperson Lieutenant Mzwandile Nyambi said Nico Cronje took his own life Monday morning.
“I can confirm the incident, but at this stage there is no more information available. We will keep you updated as the investigation progresses. We also don’t know what the motive is,” Nyambi said.
Part of the mine caved in on February 5, swallowing a lamp room housed in a container in which three workers were busy. Since then there had been two more collapses, on Saturday and Sunday, halting efforts to reach the three.
The mine was owned by Vantage Goldfields. According to a company source who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, Cronje got dressed on Monday morning as if he was going to work, got into his car, and shot himself.
He lived on a farm between Kaapmuiden and Barberton, near the mine.
The search and rescue operation had been put on hold while geo-technologists were assessing the movement of the soil with lasers and other machinery.
A decision on how to continue would be taken after further assessments had been made.
President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Joseph Mathunjwa, was expected to brief media about the rescue operations later on Wednesday.