Police reports say the safety officer at Lily Mine Nico Cronje has decided to take the easy way out by committing suicide.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Mzwandile Nyambi said the safety officer resorted to offering a permanent solution to a temporary problem by taking his own life on the morning of Monday 15 February.
Reports are still inconclusive as there is still no specific and conclusive reason found for why Cronje decided to end his own life.
“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.
However, a company source who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimization said that Cronje got dressed on Monday morning as if he was going to work, got into his car, and shot himself.
His house is on a farm near the mine between Kaapmuiden and Barberton.
The Lily mine owned by Vantage Goldfields experienced a cave in on February 5, swallowing a lamp room housed in a container where three workers were busy thereby trapping them.
Rescue searches were still going on for the missing three miners until yet another massive cave-in led to the suspension of all search and rescue operations at the mines.
On Saturday and Sunday February 13&14 respectively, more parts of the eastern side wall caved in during the early hours of the morning. This is coming at a time when three miners are still unaccounted for by the rescue teams.
While geo-technologists are still assessing the movement of the soil with lasers and other machinery, all search and rescue operations are put on hold pending when further assessments are made to avoid more casualties.