More than 40 illegal miners have so far been arrested during a high-level multidisciplinary operation, targeting illegal mining operations on Gauteng’s West Rand.
The operation is being spearheaded by Police Minister Bheki Cele, together with Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Elias Mawela and the Hawks.
Police raid Krugersdorp:
This follows the brutal gang rape of eight women in West Village, Krugersdorp, on Thursday last week. The women who were part of a production crew, shooting a music video, were attacked by a gang of men believed to be illegal miners.
The police’s Colonel Dave Davis elaborates, “We planned this operation today because of all the zama zamas that are taking over the West Village and the region of Krugersdorp and we arrested more or less 42 people today. We seized about 32 cell phones. What we see here is gold bearing material that they steal from the mines and then they wash it down on tables and clothes and then they wash the clothes and find the gold material and then you get your gold and it’s then sent into the market.”
Suspects in rape incident appear in court
The case against 81 suspects who were arrested in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg over the weekend, has been postponed to Wednesday.
The suspects appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Many of them were nabbed on allegations of illegal mining, possession of explosives, stolen goods, illegal firearms and ammunition as well as contravention of the Immigration Act.
Out of the 81 suspects, 20 of them were juveniles.
According to police the gun-wielding attackers gang raped the women and robbed them of their belongings.
Meanwhile, outside court – scores of GBV activists and members of various political parties gathered to voice their concerns over the incident.