Missing RSSC man is dead
MBABANE – After exactly three weeks of speculation, DNA test results have since confirmed that missing RSSC employee Lucky Sifundza is dead.
The results also confirm that he died while on duty.
Last week, investigators took blood samples from the employee’s relatives for DNA testing to help determine what might have happened to him after fruitless searches around the company premises.
This was after a flesh-like substance was reportedly found on the company’s machinery.
Sifundza went missing from his workplace at Mhlume Sugar Mill on May 23, 2012 shortly after clocking in for the 6pm shift and it was speculated he had been killed by the ‘milling train’ because his whereabouts remained unknown.
Others speculated that he may have walked out of the building without clocking out.
In a statement released yesterday, the Royal Swazi Sugar Corporation (RSSC) confirmed the death and described it as a ‘tragic accident’.
"All of us at RSSC are shocked by this and we join his family in mourning the loss of their son, brother and father.
"We cannot begin to imagine the pain and sadness they are going through," said Nick Jackson, MD at RSSC.
After Sifundza’s disappearance, RSSC formed a task team comprising police officers, factory management, engineers and employee organisations to investigate his whereabouts.
Interviews were also conducted with Sifundza’s colleagues to establish the sequence of events leading to his disappearance.
The milling train was stopped and the entire plant was shut down from May 29 to May 30 to allow for a comprehensive search on the premises including part of the mill and the boilers but no evidence was found.
"Pieces of cloth found in the mill did not match his clothes, and simulation tests conducted on hard hats and gum boots similar to those he was wearing were inconclusive. After an extensive search, forensic tests were conducted.
"The results of these tests indicate that Mr Sifundza tragically lost his life while on duty," the corporation said.
RSSC reiterated that an incident like this was unprecedented in its 50 years of operation because of the safe working environment for all its employees.
"We, together with the police, are still investigating how this could have occurred as Mr Sifundza was an experienced member of the team. Such an event is unheard of within the industry," said Jackson.
He was planning to get married
MAFUCULA - The family of the late Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) employee, Lucky Sifundza, has revealed that he had planned to get married in December.
William Sifundza, the father of the deceased said preparations for the traditional wedding were at an advanced stage.
"The reason the wedding was supposed to be staged in December was because he would have been at home since he was a seasonal worker," Sifundza senior said.
His aunt, Ncamsile Magagula disclosed that the Lucky had asked her to buy a gift in Johan-nesburg, which he had planned to present to his wife during the traditional wedding.
Magagula further described Sifundza as a humble young man who was determined in life adding that he was a caring father.
Magagula further stated that the incident was traumatising to Sifundza’s fiancée who was looking forward to becoming his wife.
Meanwhile, the fiancée Lindiwe Khoza has been in a sombre mood since the DNA results were revealed to her, on Monday night.
Despite that the Sifundza family was expecting the DNA results to be positive, Khoza had some hope that her future husband might have been alive. During an interview she could not even utter a word and only wept.
... funeral is on Saturday
MAFUCULA - Lucky Sifundza’s funeral will take place on Saturday morning at Mafucula community cemetery.
This was revealed by the decea-sed’s uncle, Elmon Magagula.
Elmon said the resolution to stage the funeral this Saturday was taken after a meeting with some RSSC officials which took place yesterday afternoon.
"There will be a night vigil on Friday," Elmon said.
Elmon further revealed that the family had planned to have the funeral next week, but was advised by the company that Saturday was fine since Lucky’s remains are in the country.
He also disclosed that the company has promised to burden all costs of the funeral, something which he described as pleasing to the Sifundza family.
Counselling availed to Sifundza family
MBABANE – Counselling services have been availed to the Sifundza family and all RSSC employees who worked closely with the late Lucky Sifundza.
The company, in a press release, said management had also been in regular contact with the family to assist them, where possible, with whatever they needed.
"On behalf of RSSC, I would like to thank the Royal Swaziland Police for their commitment and dedication to resolving this matter.
The investigative team worked tirelessly throughout the duration of this case, and for that we are grateful," said RSSC MD Nick Jackson.
He also thanked the unions, members of the media, and the general public for their support and for respecting the investigative process.
RSSC reassures sugar is safe
MBABANE - RSSC has reiterated that even though there was no risk of spoilage to the company’s product, precaution had been taken to isolate, recall and quarantine all of its products manufactured on the day of the accident.
"Samples of sugar produced during this time have also been sent for testing," RSSC MD Nick Jackson said.
He said the past couple of days were challenging particularly for the Sifundza family and RSSC employees.
The MD thanked the deceased employee’s family for their patience and understanding throughout the investigation process.
My sincere condolences to the Sifundza family. This is really tragic. I'm really wondering how Sfundza died though. My worry now is how can we be assured that the sugar is safe when someone has been confirmed dead, probably chrushed by de machine that chrushes the same sugar? I'm deeply saddened by the way he died and pray God comfort his family in this sad time. The company must make sure extra safety measures are taken to avoid such occurance in the future.
Jun 13, 2012, 10:41 AM, Acty Motsa (email@example.com)
A very painful and unacceptable thing,how can this happen if safe is in a high level?what is going 2 happen with the sugar that manufacted on that day?
Jun 13, 2012, 10:41 AM, Bonkhosi Nhlebela Nicholas Sbonkho (76738747)
Awu loSifundza shem.
Jun 13, 2012, 10:41 AM, mkhangesh
This is sad news indeed. Our condolences goes to the family lelahlekelwe. What is mind blogging though is the fact that a person is reported missing within the company premises on the 23rd but the mill continues its operations and only stops on the 29th. What sort of hullabaloo is that? Where is the logic and reasoning? Are there safety specialists in this company? All they cared about was production. This is going to deter a major blow to the reputation of RSSC and its products. The news is already flying everywhere in the world, and who is going to buy loshukela manje. In a case like this, a company has to assume the worst case scenario. The minute you get a report like this you have to stop all operations and search, until you are convinced the person is not within the company premises. Ngubani ke longangiphikisa kutsi, emaSwati sekone kakhulu, uMdali sosifulatsele and HE is taking the only source of income that Swaziland has been boasting about. Kwatsiwa maSwati khetsani umculu, tsine phela manje sesikhetse indilinga. Maswati buyelani kuJehova nicele intsetselelo.
Jun 13, 2012, 1:03 PM, Lobhoncel (Bhoncela@yahoo.com)
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