Answer to a question from a reader

How can I get more information about my deceased mineworker brother?

The short answer

You can contact the mine owners and ask them for help.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I would like to get more information about my late brother who used to work in the St Helena gold mine in Welkom. I believe that he was stabbed to death in his sleep by one of his colleagues.

The long answer

I’m afraid that it might be very difficult. All you can generally establish from the population register (record of births and deaths) from Home Affairs is whether a person is alive or not, and you already know that he has passed away.

I could find no contact details for the mine in Welkom but only a telephone number for the owners of the mine, which is in Johannesburg: 

Tel: 011 644 2400

Address: 24 St Andrews Rd, Parktown. 

The Minerals Council of South Africa put out a notice saying it was concerned about workers’ lives and safety and that they sympathised with the families of the mine workers who were killed on 31 August 1987, when a methane gas explosion caused a lift to plunge to the bottom of the shaft in the St Helena mine, killing 60 workers. It may be worth contacting them to see if they have any information about your brother. These are their contact details: 

Tel: 011 498 7100


Unless you know of any other organisation that your brother might have belonged to, like a church, where someone might remember him, I think it will be very hard to find information about him.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Sept. 3, 2021, 2 p.m.

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