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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Body found at zama zama site in Roodepoort, reports say there should be 7 more

Though residents informed police they saw eight bodies at an illegal mining site, officers only found one while investigating.

Police are investigating an illegal mining site in Roodepoort, Gauteng, where community members have claimed to have seen eight dead bodies recently, though officers only found one during an investigation on Thursday.

“Saps Gauteng can confirm that following information received about eight bodies that have allegedly been seen in Florida policing precinct where illegal mining is prevalent, maximum resources were mobilised to search the area,” the police said on Thursday.

“So far, only one charred body was discovered just after 10am, near the Central Gold Mine.”

ALSO READ: Police arrest more than 300 undocumented foreign nationals for illegal mining in Gauteng

Top brass investigate

The newly-appointed Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Tommy Mthombeni, visited zama zama hotspots on Thursday, an area with about 90 illegal mining sites that the operation Vala Umgodi has identified.

Zama zama site
Another zama zama site is investigated. Photo: SA Police/X

“Working in collaboration with the South African National Defence Force, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the municipality, and Saps specialised units that include the Tactical Response Team, National Intervention Unit, and Special Task Force, we will continue to conduct targeted and disruptive operations in all districts that are affected by illegal mining,” police added.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa says mining has transformed significantly since apartheid era

Three shot dead

In a separate incident on Thursday, in the Mohlakeng district, 30 minutes drive from Florida, police were called to a crime scene at the Bundu Inn Wedding and Conference Venue, where three bodies were discovered with gunshot wounds on Thursday morning.

“The motive for the killing will be determined through investigation. It is suspected that the victims could be linked to illegal mining as this area is a hot spot for illegal mining activities.”

Simultaneous busts

Two weeks earlier, police arrested 16 people believed to be illegal miners at two illegal mining sites in Gauteng. They also arrested 34 undocumented people at these sites.

The teams descended on the West Rand and Ekurhuleni districts, arresting 11 people for suspected illegal mining. They arrested seven undocumented people in Krugersdorp in the West Rand, five people believed to be illegal miners, and 27 undocumented people in Crystal Park in the latter district.

Both teams seized illegal mining tools such as explosives, detonator cords, generators, phendukas (hand-driven cylinders), crush pots, spades, hammers and bags of gold-bearing material.

ALSO READ: 16 alleged zama zamas arrested in daring simultaneous busts

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