A GOLD panner died after he fell into a 20-metre-deep mine shaft in Umzingwane while illegally prospecting for the mineral.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident which occurred on Sunday at around 6AM at Stancorn Farm.
She said Goodness Sibanda (25) of Dingile Village in Matobo slipped and fell into the shaft.
“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case which occurred in Umzingwane. Goodness Sibanda who was in the company of two others was illegally prospecting for gold at Stancorn Farm.
“While he was entering the shaft Sibanda slipped and fell into the shaft and sustained broken legs and head injuries. He was assisted by his mates who pulled him out of the shaft and he was ferried to Umzingwane District Hospital where he was confirmed dead upon arrival,” she said.
Insp Mangena urged people to desist from illegal mining.
“As police we continue to urge people to desist from engaging in illegal mining activities as by so doing they will be putting their lives at risk. Such people conduct their mining activities without protective clothing and necessary equipment which may result in injuries or death, like in this case. People have to regularise their mining operations and acquire the necessary equipment and clothing,” she said.