Angry residents of Kagiso (Mogale City), west of Johannesburg, have blocked several streets as part of their strategy to “rid the area” of illegal miners operating in their community, police have said.
With tensions running high, the police said they were keeping a close eye on them as large groups of community members embarked on a search for the illegal miners who are accused of terrorising the residents in Kagiso.
What alarmed the residents was the gang rape of eight women who were part of a production crew shooting a music video at the nearby mine dump in Krugersdorp, also west of Johannesburg, a week ago.
Over 80 suspects who are believed to be illegal miners and undocumented immigrants were arrested in the gang-rape incident, according to the police.
“These zama zamas (illegal miners) must go home because they are busy raping people and doing crime here,” said Thabani Zulu, a Kagiso resident.
Zulu added: “Most of them are not from here. This thing must be fixed. These zama zamas must go because what they are doing is very bad.”
The gang-rape accused appeared at Johannesburg’s Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday where they were ordered to return next week on Wednesday.