The case against the group of suspects arrested following the horrific robbery and gang rape of eight women in Krugersdorp last week, returns to court today.
Eight women were allegedly raped and their film crew was robbed by a gang of armed zama zamas (illegal miners) last Thursday, during a music video shoot at a disused mine in West Village.
More than 80 individuals appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court on Monday, facing charges of being in the country illegally.
However, the suspects, who have not been identified yet, were not charged in connection with the robbery and gang rape incident.
During their court appearance, the case was postponed to Wednesday (today) in order for an identity parade to be carried out as well as for the accused to secure legal representation.
It also emerged in court that about 20 of the suspects were juveniles and their cases had to be transferred to the children’s court.
ANC, DA picket outside court
The ANC and the DA on this morning picketed outside the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court along with gender activists and several other organisations, calling for justice for the rape victims.
Illegal miners nabbed
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele joined a multi-disciplinary team of police officers, the Tactical Response Teams (TRT), the Hawks and private security on Tuesday, to take down illegal mining syndicates of zama zamas in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg.
In total, more than 40 suspected illegal miners were arrested during the operation.
Cele said police, through the Hawks, are investigating and getting to those in illicit mining in the West Rand, not only the zama zamas who are often young, desperate individuals illegally in the country.
During the operation, police exchanged gunfire with men believed to be illegal miners.
One man who was reportedly found shot and wounded at a disused mine in Luipaardsvlei has since died, according to paramedics.
Cele said the firearms seized at the scene are also suspected to come from Mozambique.