Skhumbuzo’s family remains hopeful that one day they will find his bones and give him a decent burial.
This was after Skhumbuzo (an illegal miner) fell into an open pit while sending food to the other illegal miners underground.
The incident happened on Thursday, 27 February 2019 at Evander Gold Mine #5 shaft.
According to his friends, they were standing next to the pit with food and a book they use to record everything.
Skhumbuzo was about to read the instruction through a recording device they use since there is no network underground, when they heard gunshots from the nearby bushes.
The other two young men managed to runaway, but it is not known whether Skhumbuzo fell into the pit while trying to runaway or he was hit by the bullet and fell inside.
“I saw him falling inside,” said one of his friends who accompanied the family to see where their son’s life perished.
His friends said after their rivalry left, they immediately sent a message underground for Skhumbuzo to be searched, but they could not find him.
After the search did not yield any results, they opted to go and inform the family so that they should know what happened to him.
The family went to Embalenhle Police Station and was told to go to Evander where the incident happen.
At Evander Police Station they were sent back to Embalenhle and after being sent from pillar to post, they were finally assisted to open a case at Embalenhle Police Station.
Their biggest challenge is that the Mine is currently trying to close the same #5 Shaft pit and that his body might be covered by the crushed concrete.
While speaking to Skhumbuzo’s friends they said, “We are just trying to make a living because we cannot find jobs.
“In our group we are all South Africans and do not even have firearms,” said one of them also indicating the reason the Basotho groups trouble them knowing they cannot fight back.
They appealed to the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Gwede Mantashe to give permits to illegal miners.
The young men said there are countless times when they vowed to stop mining illegally, but always go back when they cannot find jobs.
Skhumbuzo’s mother prayed at the open pit and said she remain hopeful that one day they will find his bones.
She further mentioned that he left three children behind and was a responsible father to them.
“I saw him the same day in Embalenhle holding a big roll of rope,” said his aunt who further mentioned that he troubled her in dreams after she received the bad news from his friends.