Mogale City residents taken it upon themselves to “rid the area” of illegal miners

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Scores of disgruntled residents from Mogale City, west of Johannesburg, have taken it upon themselves to “rid the area” of illegal miners operating in their community.

Large groups of community members have embarked on a search for illegal miners who are terrorising residents.

Several main roads have also been blocked off to traffic on Thursday morning in Kagiso, as a result of the protest. This follows the gang rape of 8 women, who were part of a production crew, shooting a music video.

They were working on site when the attack took place last Thursday, near a mine dump in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

According to police, the suspects are believed to be illegal miners.

Community member Thabani Zulu says they have had enough of lawlessness in the area.

Zulu says, “These zama zamas they must go because they are busy raping people and doing crime here and there and most of them are illegal. And they are not from here most of them. This thing must be fixed. These zama zamas, they must go because what they are doing is very bad in this country.”

Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court

The case against 81 suspects who were arrested in Krugersdorp over the weekend has been postponed to Wednesday next week at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

The suspects were arrested during police raids in the area following the gang rape of the eight women.

At this stage, none of the suspects have yet been linked to the rapes.

All the suspects made brief appearances in the dock on Wednesday, before their cases were postponed to next week Wednesday. This is to allow the state time to conduct identity parades and DNA tests on the suspects.

Most of the suspects have also not yet secured legal representation.

‘SA under siege’

Members of political organisations who gathered outside the court on Wednesday called on law enforcement agencies to uphold the rule of law and arrest illegal foreign nationals.

Action SA councillor Meshack van Wyk says South Africans are under siege by undocumented immigrants.

“We are under siege in our own country and if the police do not strengthen the laws in South Africa, we will go down to the dungeons because there is no law in this country and as Action SA, we say to strengthen the laws and implement the laws and only when the laws are implemented, there will be order. We propose that law and order be brought back to South Africa otherwise we will find that people that come from other countries keep us at bay in our own country. We are saying no to gender-based violence,” says Van Wyk.

The African National Congress’s Nomvula Mokonyane says the government is planning on expropriating the land where illegal miners operate to ensure safer communities.

“The absent mine owners have left these workers, the illegal immigrants without taking them back to the countries of their origin. It’s the exploitation that has been going on here, we are here to say we can’t live under a reign of terror and we are calling on everybody to support the government’s intention to expropriate all those pockets of land whether it’s Simunye, Lonmin, whoever it is who deserted. Even now we believe there are many who are underground and we have all been living in misery in this area,” says Mokonyane.

VIDEO: Concerns and possible solutions put forward to combat illegal mining and violence: