IT WAS supposed to be a normal bus ride to work for about 50 mine workers from Modikwa Platinum Mine. But the ride turned into a flaming hell.
When the bus stopped at a pickup point at Driekop Village outside Burgersfort in Limpopo, two unknown men jumped onto it.
They allegedly threw flammable liquid over the miners before jumping off and running away.
The workers were left amid huge balls of flaming liquid.
Six miners, two women and four men, were burned beyond recognition and 28 others suffered serious burns.
A resident said they watched helplessly as people burned inside the bus while others escaped by jumping out the windows.
“They screamed for help, but there was nothing we could do,” he said.
Limpopo police are offering a reward of R500 000 for any information that could help them catch the suspects.
Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said: “We are pleading with anyone who has information to contact Captain Richard Boshomane on 079 894 5501 or Warrant Officer Bethuel Mahlatji on 079 657 6873, or to contact their nearest police station.”
The National Union of Mineworkers’ North East secretary. Phillip Mankge said they were shocked and saddened by the deaths of the six workers.
Mpumi Sithole, spokeswoman for Anglo American Platinum and African Rainbow Minerals, as joint partners in Modikwa Platinum Mine, said they strongly condemned the senseless attack on their workers.
“The mine’s management is deeply saddened by this incident. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased. We are currently giving employees and families support to get through this difficult time and wish the injured ones a speedy recovery,” she said.