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Xinfeng says worker’s death was natural

Written by on June 4, 2024

Xinfeng Investments says the cause of death of Gerson Nauyoma, one of their workers who died last month, was natural and they bear no responsibility for his death.

This comes after Mineworkers Union of Namibia secretary general George Ampweya told The Namibian that the incident occurred due to the mine neglecting to provide workers with adequate safety measures.

Xinfeng spokesperson Hardin Fredericks says Nauyoma was responsible for determining the volume of the minerals in the plant department and not in the crushing unit.

He said this in a statement sent to The Namibian yesterday.

“In our commitment to being transparent, we thought it important to emphasise that Mr Nauyoma, along with other staff members, left the premises of the mine on Thursday, 23 May.

“They did so in line with accepted protocols following pay-day, which was on Thursday. He left for Swakopmund, and upon investigation, we believe this is where he complained about not feeling well,” Fredericks said.

Fredericks said the family has made the medical certificate as well as other documents available to the company.

“These included the death certificate, the medical certificate, the quotation by Nambob for the transportation of the body from Swakopmund to Ongwediva, the casket and the burial order. This has enabled us to finance all related funeral and travel costs for the body of the deceased to Nauyoma’s final resting place,” he said.

“It should be stated categorically that Xinfeng bears no responsibility for the death of Gerson Nauyoma. The death certificate states the cause of death as natural. As is evident from our contribution, we are working closely with Nauyoma’s brother, Gebhardt Nauyoma,” Fredericks said.

He said the environment in which the mine operates is a challenge, especially as it relates to dust.

“To this end, we have deployed the highest technology in dust suppression, a process vetted during our application for our ECC, which was granted [by the appropriate authorities]. As part of our core disciplines, we have invested in the best safety gear for our workers, as well as the highest quality standard for masks,” he said.

Fredericks said to ensure Xinfeng continuously enhances operational efficiencies and protects the workforce, the company has introduced shorter replacement schedules of masks for employees.

“It is worth noting that a team from the Ministry of Mines and Energy visited the mine on 29 May 2024. The ministerial team arrived without prior notice and found our safety procedures and gear to be satisfactory,” he said.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Gerson Nauyoma, and in his memory, Xinfeng will offer all our staff the opportunity to subject themselves to a medical check-up in the near future. We have also taken note of a claim that our employees work for longer hours than prescribed by the Labour Act.

“This practice is at best misunderstood as the only time this deviation occurs is when the same group of workers opts to work overtime. Our workers operate on an eight-hour schedule. In the event where employees work overtime, they are duly compensated,” he said.

The Namibian reported that a man working on a solar plant construction project at RÖssing Uranium near Arandis died at the construction site on 15 May.

The post Xinfeng says worker’s death was natural appeared first on The Namibian.

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