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The price of gold: South African miners sue over devastated lives – in pictures

In a landmark class action case starting today, former workers seek redress over chronic lung diseases. Photographer Thom Pierce travelled to meet them...

Zimotshile Bethwayo, 57, from Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape – pictured here with his wife, Majadu, and their grandson – worked in the mines for 28 years. He has tuberculosis and suspected silicosis, and has received no compensation. He is one of the many miners ready to be tested for silicosis if the class action lawsuit is approved.

‘I am staying at home now, I have nothing to do. I am unable to work because the mines used me,’ he said...

Part of the following stories

So. Africa: Lawyers for gold miners affected by silicosis to argue before Johannesburg High Court why mining companies should be held accountable

Gold miner silicosis litigation (re So. Africa)