CrimeNews

Burnt body a suspected ‘zama zama’ turf war victim

The alleged on-going turf war between the groups of BaSotho illegal miners took an ugly turn this week, when the rival groups started shooting at each other – reportedly over territory.

A Lesotho national believed to be a member of one of the rival gangs, was gunned down and burnt – reportedly during an apparent clash between the groups of miners known as ‘zama zamas’, on Tuesday evening (November 29).

His burnt body was found by one of his relatives in the bushes near Oos Rand railway station lying face down on the ground, with his right leg up on Wednesday morning.
The relative then alerted the police.

The deceased, Lebogang Tuna who hails from Carletonville, was found riddled with bullet wounds – prompting more suspicions that he was killed in the Tuesday evening battle between the rival groups, which took place in the bushes where his burnt body was found.

A case of murder has been registered.

A Lesotho national believed to be a member of one of the rival illegal mining gangs was found fatally shot and burnt, on Wednesday morning. Seen with the discovered body is Reiger Park SAPS' Jonny Mathobela.
A Lesotho national believed to be a member of one of the rival illegal mining gangs was found fatally shot and burnt, on Wednesday morning. Seen with the discovered body is Reiger Park SAPS’ Jonny Mathobela.

“We are appealing to the public for assistance, so that we can bring those responsible for the killing to book,” said Reiger Park SAPS spokesperson Sgt Mashudu Phathela; who revealed that the problem has been going on for years now.

The fight erupted on Monday, November 28, when the rival groups reportedly clashed and started to shoot each other in the Angelo informal settlement.

Police responded to the shooting, but they also came under fire by an unknown gunman, whose hail of bullets injured one of the BaSotho men – who was at the time giving a statement to the police about the previous shooting.

The police returned fire and eventually managed to take control of the situation.
It’s perceived that the groups are fighting over the Angelo and Cason abandoned mineshafts.

Three more killed in illegal mining turf war

Both the police and Angelo informal residents said they are concerned about the spike in illegal mining-related violence in their community; and they called for urgent government intervention.

“These immigrants from Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are constantly putting our lives at risk and we want the authorities to do something, before we take matters into our own hands, as the affected community members,” said one of the Angelo informal settlement community leaders; who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation.

“These people are always roaming our streets carrying guns. They rape and rob people during the night, while also engaging in their war over who works in the disused mineshaft here.”

Both the Boksburg and Reiger Park police admitted that illegal mining was spiralling out of control and getting worse by the day in their precincts.

The police however, have undertaken to intensify their fight against illegal mining, by conducting more raids on the affected areas.

It’s believed that illegal miners are working for syndicates, who are responsible for providing a market for illegal miners – thereby encouraging them to continue mining despite all the risk involved.

Therefore, many people are suggesting that government deal with the syndicates behind the illegal mining first – then control SA’s borders, especially the inflow of illegal immigrants. -@FanieFLK

Illegal miners wage violent turf war

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