DRIEKOP – Six mine workers who perished during a bus-bombing at Driekop village outside Burgersfort three weeks ago in the evening while en-route to Modikwa Platinum Mine, were bid farewell during a mass funeral service at the Driekop Sports Ground on Saturday.
Chupu Mathabatha, Limpopo Premier, Stan Ramaila, Sekhukhune District Executive Mayor, National Union of Maine Workers President Piet Matosa and mayors of the four local municipalities as well as Seaparo Sekwati, Limpopo MEC for Economic Development attended the emotionally charged funeral service.
According to police, the miners died after suspects got into a bus they were travelling in at a stopping point in Driekop village and threw in a flammable liquid before jumping out, leaving the bus in flames. Six people died and 28 others were seriously injured. The injured were taken to hospital.
The deceased six were identified as Moniccah Mabilo aged 57 years-old from Ga-Mahlokwane village, Johannes Malepe aged 56 years-old from Driekop village, Ziphora Makuwa aged 48 also from Driekop village, Solomon Komana aged 37 years-old and Simon Mahlokwane aged 42 years-old from Ga-Mahlokwane village and Pheta Ranku aged 58 years-old from Lesotho.
Meanwhile, the five suspects arrested following the incident appeared before the Mecklenburg Magistrates Court on Thursday, 12 April 2018 on charges of six counts of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
The suspects, Sipho Khumalo (28) from Driekop, Aubrey Remos Tjie (35), Thabo Mokgala (33), Philimon Makwana (34) and Kgaogelo Moime (29) who was the first suspect to be arrested on Tuesday, 03 April 2018 were remanded in custody until today, Thursday 26 April 2018 when they are expected to reappear for formal bail application before the court.