The family of the security guard trampled to death by an elephant bull on the premises of Foskor mine in Phalaborwa last week are allegedly claiming financial compensation from the mine. According to reports, they were not satisfied with the security on the mine and therefor want to be compensated as the deceased was the only breadwinner in his household. He had four children, the last of which his wife had only just given birth to a few weeks prior to his death.
Eric Kgatla (45), a security guard employed by private contractor Samson and Reuben Security to guard the Zirconia plant on the mine, was found dead at around 04:00 on Saturday morning.
It is believed that he was patrolling the grounds at the time and that he was found a distance away from his guard house. International news agencies, in an effort to attract visitors to their websites, have in the meantime romanticized the incident by claiming that Kgatla was “protecting the miners from a pride of lions that had escaped from the Kruger National Park”. In reality this is most likely not the case as one of the surviving family members stated in an interview that he most likely left his guard house to go to the toilet when the surprise encounter with the animal occurred.
A colleague that was also on shift with Kgatla said that he heard the sound of an elephant outside the guard house and he ran for safety. This is allegedly when he realized that his partner was not in the guard room. The deceased’s body was recovered behind the guard house. He will be buried this coming Saturday.
At the time of going to print it was not clear whether the elephant in question had escaped from the Kruger, or whether it was one of the many wild animals which often roam the premise.
In a similar story, a father is mourning the death of his toddler after the two year old boy was mauled by a leopard on that same Friday evening.
It is reported that 2-year old Courtney Ntimane and his mother Cebile Nuku had travelled from their home in Bushbukridge to the Kruger Park to visit father and husband, Isaiah Ntimane (35) who is employed by the park. They were visiting him at his cottage in the staff quarters when a leopard attacked the child while they were enjoying a braai that evening. The animal scaled the fence and disappeared but was allegedly later tracked down and killed in order to prevent it from harming other people. The incident was confirmed by the KNP spokesperson, Ike Paahla.