Residents of Hwange town in Matabeleland North province were left shell-shocked when a local woman died after a heap of coal rubble collapsed on her as she was illegally extracting coke at a dumpsite.
Simelweyinkosi Dube (31) of Madumabisa village had gone to the dump site in Hwange where residents illegally extract coke from coal waste for use as a source of energy.
Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the incident and said Dube was with her companion Bethani Ndlovu who survived the accident.
“The deceased was with Bethani Ndlovu illegally extracting coke from a coal dump site. The coal rubble curved in while the two were digging for coke and Ndlovu managed to escape while the now deceased was trapped.
“A front-end loader was used to dig her out before she was rushed to hospital,” she said.
Meanwhile, in another sad incident a Hwange man employed at the Chinese-run Zhong Zhing Coking Company was recently sentenced to eight years in jail for attempted murder after he was found guilty of striking a workmate with a brick.
Chaboneka Sibanda (35) from Change village was employed as a general hand while the deceased, Reason Ndlovu (27), of Lubweludile village in Lukosi was employed as a fork lift driver.
The two had a misunderstanding over the transportation of bags of coke with Sibanda accusing Ndlovu of leaving behind his sacks while carrying those of other workmates.
In court, Sibanda pleaded not guilty to attempted murder when he appeared before Hwange regional magistrate Collet Ncube.
However, after a full trial, Ncube convicted Sibanda and slapped him with an eight year jail term.