Two more bodies found at a Krugersdorp mine

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Gauteng police have confirmed that two more bodies have been found at a mine in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg. This puts the death toll at 21.

Police say they have opened an inquest docket following the discovery of 19 bodies on Wednesday afternoon.

They say the bodies are believed to be those of suspected illegal miners, commonly known as zama-zamas.

According to the authorities, investigations indicate that the dead miners were transported and placed where they were found.

Post-mortem results will reveal the manner of death, according to the statement.

SAPS Spokesperson Brenda Muridili provides more details: 

Cheap labour behind illegal mining 

Advocacy organisation, Bench Marks Foundation, says cheap labour exploited by syndicates drives illegal mining in the country.

Lead researcher at the foundation, David van Wyk, says government’s failure to enforce the law on the closure and rehabilitation of mines contributes to the problem.

“The situation is really complex and it really is a difficult one that needs resolution. It will only be resolved if the law is applied with regard to how mining operations close down and how they are rehabilitated. But often there are still enough minerals there for small-scale mining to continue. But there is no plan to shift from large industrial mines to small-scale mining in this country and that’s why there’s so much chaos,” adds Van Wyk.

Below is the full interview with David van Wyk: