Friends, family and the Jagersfontein community will pay tribute to 78-year-old Ralehan Aaron Mosoev, who died in a mine accident two weeks ago.

It happened after the mine’s dam wall burst, causing the slurry to flood the town. As a result of the flood, houses and infrastructure were damaged, and 164 families were evicted.

Free State Prime Minister Sisi Ntambela is expected to attend the funeral, accompanied by members of her executive council and the executive mayor.

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

In 2019, Dukwana, a former Free State provincial government councillor, testified about alleged corruption in relation to the mine.

Dukwana accused former Free State premier Ace Magashule, Duduzan Zuma and Tony Gupta, revealing he was offered 2 million rand to sign the mine deal.

Political scientist Ralph Matekga says: “It will depend on how the rules were followed, if a tragedy like this happens you will go back and some investigations will have to go back and [look at] has there been any investigation in terms of the required regulations for the management of tailings dams. And also is this dam maintained, to what extent, is the problem recent, how far back does this problem go, has there been lax regulation in this area? Could something have been prevented?”

There is a growing belief that the Jagersfontein disaster could have been avoided:

The management of Jagersfontein Development mines is adamant that there was no indication of an impending threat.

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

De Villiers was speaking during a visit by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Montashe to the mud-ravaged town.

“A new license was issued and this license was what we have been working on until now and we have met all these conditions, so I am saying the latest, and I have said this before, the last technical report that the mine submitted was in June, because we should do this every quarter. We did it,” says De Villiers.

At least 20 people were hospitalized after a dam burst in a mine in Jagersfontein:

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