Kagiso residents call on government to deploy soldiers to the area

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Residents of Kagiso, west of Johannesburg have called on government to deploy soldiers to assist them in clamping down on illegal mining operations.

They say police have failed to help them as they are under resourced and are in the pockets of the illegal miners or “zama zamas”.

Several illegal mining operations have been dismantled in Kagiso. Truckloads of illegal mining material can be seen being carried away immediately after the structures are dismantled.

Residents say they have had enough with illegal miners who they accuse of being behind the spate of rapes, robberies and murders in the area.

“We are near Soul City; we see everything, hear gunshots all night. Last week, someone was killed. We lock ourselves inside the house. The permanent solution is that state of emergency must be declared and soldiers deployed. The police have no manpower and corruption is too much,” a community member explains.

VIDEO: Krugersdorp – Kagiso residents on the West Rand express frustration with illegal miners, crime 

Meanwhile, earlier residents blockaded illegal mine holes as they continue to search for Zama Zamas in the area. They torched shacks believed to belong to the illegal miners, most of whom are foreign nationals.

Locals say the illegal miners have been committing crimes in the area including rape and murder. A large police contingent is continuing to monitor the protest and have fired teargas to disperse locals.

The community is adamant at this stage, they’re not going to retreat, and instead they want police to move away. They say they want police to do their job. There is quite a heightened police presence in the area. There’s a chopper that continues to hover over the particular area, where there’s quite a number of these holes that have been open to allow for this illegal activity.