Tshiamiso Trust “Outreach” to Claimants in Lesotho Unacceptable and Inhumane

May 17, 2023

Tshiamiso Trust roll out in Lesotho

ustice for Miners Campaign Press Release: Johannesburg and Maseru, 17 May 2023.

Tshiamiso Trust “Outreach” to Claimants in Lesotho Unacceptable and Inhumane

In terms of the 5 billion Rand out of court silicosis and TB settlement reached

between lawyers of ex-gold miners and South Africa’s largest gold producers the

Tshiamiso Trust is responsible for processing compensation claims by ex-miners

and dependents of deceased ex-miners who have been made chronically ill by gold mining.

From the early hours of today, 17 May, a 1 km long queue of sick, frail and elderly claimants

braved the bitter cold on the road leading up to the TEBA office in Maseru. (See attached video)

Some had been there since mid-night hoping to be paid compensation for silicosis and TB

contracted on South Africa’s gold mines. Radio announcements had alerted claimants who

worked on qualifying gold mines between 1966 and 2019 to the “outreach” that is being held at

the TEBA (The Employment Bureau of Africa) offices in Maseru.

The Lesotho Chapter of the Justice for Miners Campaign and the entire regional JFM Campaign

condemns in strongest term the inhumane and unacceptable disregard for claimants’ dignity,

health and human rights demonstrated by this ill-conceived and inconsiderate “outreach”

program. “There is no way those people can be processed today. Having spent money on

transport and risked their already compromised health many will be spending tonight and

tomorrow in the cue with little hope of being paid. It is outrageous that those whose lives have

been knowingly sacrificed for gold profits are still treated with such indignity.” (Bishop Seoka in

response to ongoing reports from Maseru)

Late this afternoon claimants were informed by loud hailer that only those coming for

Mineworkers Provident Fund claims and only those Tshiamiso Trust claimants who had received

SMS’s would be attended to. JFM condemns in the strongest terms the confusing and ineffective

Tshiamiso Trust communications that produce the suffering and chaos witnessed today.

Since the inception of the Tshiamiso Trust the Justice for Miners Campaign has called for a

transparent and humane roll out of the compensation process across the region. Since 2020

numerous attempts at engaging the TT on how best to target and communicate with potential

claimants has fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the Tshiamiso Trust exposes the sick, elderly and frail

to the icy May weather, forcing people to stand in unmanageable cues which cannot be processed

adequately. Not only is this a continuation of the brutal policies of the gold mines represented by

the Tshiamiso Trust – it is in breach of the Tshiamiso Trust‘s mandate as outlined in the

Tshiamiso Trust Deed.

Justice For Miners board members: Bishop Jo Seoka, Asanda Benya, Ziyanda Manjati, Booi Mohapi, Sinegugu Zukulu, Catherine Meyburgh.

JFM calls on the governments of Lesotho and South Africa to immediately put a stop to the TT

operations pending an urgent public enquiry into the operations and failings of the TT. JFM

further calls on the Master of the Gauteng High Court which authorized the out of court Silicosis

and TB settlement to suspend the operations of the Trust pending an investigation into the

disastrous “outreach” we are witnessing in Maseru today and which will, according to TT

announcements, continue till Friday 19 May.

Issued by:

Lesotho Chapter of the Justice for Miners Campaign

Justice for Miners Campaign, Southern Africa

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