Tunatazama - Community Monitors

The Mine Got Away with the Murder of My Father : Justice should be done by Disebo Ntisa

I believe justice must be done to the families of those miners who lost their lives due to tysis (unending cough caused by inhaling dust) at the mines and also to those who are admitted in hospitals dying due to it. By law miners and ex-mine workers diagnosed with tysis should be compensated because its victims eventually end up dead.

I have had a personal experience of the disease when my father got sick in July 2008 and he got worse later he died on 03 November 2008. The hospital reported that my father was suffering from T.B and we later discovered that it was tysis and by then it was already late and we lost him. His friend who worked with him advised us to go and claim compensation money from the mine for this incident. My brother followed up on the idea with the mining company and he was sent from one office to the next without getting anywhere and eventually he got tired of being sent from pillar to post without getting results.

And the mine never gave any clear answers relating to my father’s compensation. They asked us for medical certificates history and proof to say or state that our father got sick because of the mines, because my father used to smoke they blamed tobacco for his illness knowing very well that we did not have the means to prove that indeed the mine was responsible for his disease. What I have realized is that the mine got away with murder and not only my father’s and also for other mine workers because with all their resources it becomes difficult for ordinary people to take them to court or prove to the mine that it should take responsibility for its actions. Mine bosses are only interested in making profit at the same time exploiting workers and putting their lives in danger.

Efforts to make sure that miners who are still owed by the company are still in vain, and others by sheer luck have received some payment. It has been six years since my father died and we still did not receive money for the services he delivered and it is not only him. I managed to have an interview with one of our neighbors who encouraged us to stay patient and calm and pointed that it was about ten years now since he has been retrenched and he suffers the same disease and that he cannot cope medically, and said that he is one of the people who are still waiting for payout. In his own words he said “I have seen people receiving their money but everytime I went there and try to fight for it they told me they will call me until today I haven’t received any call from them. At least I am still alive. I can feel your pain no father no money it really hurts”. Last year around September we were introduced to a lawyer who had a list of miners who should receive payments from the mine, I believe they are consultants and they render their services at a fee, from the information I received is that they deduct 10% of money received from the beneficiary’s payment.