One person has reportedly died in Kagiso, Mogale City, during the community’s violent protest against illegal mining and crime in the area.
Mogale City Mayor Tyrone Gray confirmed to eNCA that one person had died and police were investigating the death.
“There was a casualty and somebody lost their life. I cannot confirm whether it is a zama zama (illegal miner). The area has been cordoned off and it is currently a crime scene,” Gray said.
Angry Kagiso residents on Thursday morning blocked entrances and exit routes to the township, demanding the closure of old mine shafts in the West Rand.
The community has accused illegal miners of being behind high levels of crime in the area.
This follows the gang rape and robbery of eight women, who were part of a production crew, shooting a music video at a mine dump in West Village, Krugersdorp last week. Police suspect that the women were raped by a gang of armed illegal miners.
@thecitizen_news LIVE NOW: Residents of #Kagiso #protest over illegal mining in the area. They have blockaded various streets, including Main Reef Road. Video: Michel Bega #thecitizen #zamazama #illegalmining #tiktoksouthafrica #fyp #foryourpage #fup #foryoupage #crime #southafrica ♬ original sound – The Citizen
Kagiso residents confront zama zamas
Hundreds of residents, organising themselves into different groups, took to the streets to apprehend alleged illegal miners around the community.
They vowed to physically remove the zama zamas with or without the assistance of the police.
Mayor Gray warned residents against taking the law into their hands, saying the illegal miners were heavily armed.
“I don’t want the community to take matters like this into their hands, it leads to elements of vigilantism and the zama zamas are often heavily armed and better trained in that environment. It places the community at an incredibly dangerous point,” Gray said.
He said the community should rather give the local municipality and police tip-offs on illegal mining in the area in order for the relevant authorities to conduct operations.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe