Victim of Jagersfontein dam burst to be buried on Saturday

Friends, family and community of Jagersfontein will pay their last respects to 78-year-old Ralehana Aaron Mosoeu, who died in the mine disaster two weeks ago.

This was after the mine dam wall burst causing sludge to flood the town. Houses and infrastructure was damaged as a result of the flooding and 164 families were displaced.

Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela is expected to attend the funeral accompanied by the Members of her Executive Council and the Executive Mayor.

Meanwhile, some observers say the Jagersfontein dam burst could have been avoided had the government investigated former Free State Economic Development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana’s testimony at the State Capture Commission.

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In 2019, Dukwana, a former council member in the Free State Provincial Government, testified of alleged corruption in relation to the mine.

Dukwana implicated former Free State Premier Ace Magashule, Duduzane Zuma and Tony Gupta, testifying that he was offered R2 million to sign a deal in relation to the mine.

Political Analyst Ralph Mathekga says, “It will be on how regulations were followed thereof when a tragedy such as this takes place, you go back and certain investigations will have to go back and [look at] has there been any investigation in terms of required regulations on managing the tail dams. And also whether that dam has been maintained, to what extent, the problem that has happened recently, how far does this problem go back, has there been lax of regulation in that area? Is there anything that could’ve been prevented?”

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Growing beliefs that the Jagersfontein disaster could have been avoided:
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Mine management of Jagersfontein Development is adamant that there was no indication of a looming threat.

The mine’s legal compliance officer, Marius de Villiers, says they complied with all safety measures.

De Villiers was speaking during a visit by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to the sludge-devastated town.

“A new licence was issued and that licence was what we operated on up until now and we have complied with all those conditions, that’s why I am saying the last and I have said it previously as well, the last engineering report that was submitted by the mine was in June because we have to do that quarterly. We have complied with that,” says De Villiers.

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At least 20 people were admitted to hospital following the mine dam burst in Jagersfontein:
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