Jagersfontein dam burst: Victim to be laid to rest on Saturday

Ralehala Aaron Mosoeu, the 78-year-old man who died, in the wake of the mine dam burst in Jagersfontein, Free State, is set to be buried on Saturday, 24 September 2022, SABC News reports.

At least 70 other people were wounded when the wall of a dam burst several weeks ago, sweeping away houses and vehicles in the area. At least 300 people in the mining town have since been displaced, prompting government intervention.


The family of Mosoeu, who was a retired teacher, have expressed their grief, following his loss. He was reportedly with his wife when the Jagersfontein disaster struck. She managed to survive the incident and is currently receiving treatment the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

According to SABC News, when the tragedy occurred, Mosoeu and his wife ran to the house for safety, but were warned by neigbhours that it was not safe. They noticed that the sludge had already destroyed houses and both ran away holding each other’s hands but were knocked down.

“For a very long time being knocked against objects that they didn’t know until at one point, the lady says she could not feel that the grip of her husband on her arm was loosening up until they were separated,  the strength of the trouble they were in,” said the deceased man’s brother Tankiso.

There have since been growing calls for the owners of the mine dam to be held accountable. It was previously owned by Rupert’s Reinet Investments, but the company sold Jagersfontein assets to Stargems Holdings, a global diamond cutting, and polishing company.

According to IOL, community leaders claim Johann Rupert bribed and intimidated residents and employees at Jagersfontein, after they had raised their concern with the dam wall. Lefa Shale has told the publication that they had been warning the company since 2019, but nothing was done about it.

“The bribery is not an allegation, it is a fact. I am a community leader and I know about some of the leaders who were bribed. The community would raise these concerns and ask leaders to organise a meeting with Rupert. But these leaders would go on their own and tell Rupert what the community is planning. I know that he has been giving these leaders envelopes,” said Shale.


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