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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


Parties stand together to demand safety for women after Krugersdorp gang rape

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe says the alleged gang rapes should serve as a wake-up call.


Placard and poster-waving ANC members chanted outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday as a protest against violent crime and gender-based killings, as 80 suspects appeared in connection with suspected illegal mining in Krugersdorp.

It is suspected that a gang of zama zama illegal miners was responsible for last week’s alleged rape and robbery of eight women at a film shoot at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp.

The 80 men were arrested in a police sweep at the scene of the alleged rape, but not charged with it.

“We want safe societies for women and children,” read one ANC poster outside court.

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The ANC protesters were joined by those from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Gail Mphafudi, DA MMC for health and social development for Mogale City, said what happened was unacceptable.

“We are calling on the police minister to step up law enforcement because we are setting a precedent that anyone can get away with anything.”

ANC / DA / Zama zamas
Supporters of various political parties demonstrate outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on 3 August 2022 as suspects appear in connection with the rape of eight women last week at a mine dump. Picture: Michel Bega

Mphafudi said Mogale City mayor Tyrone Gray was working closely with law enforcement to close down some illegal shafts.

“The zama zamas are affecting our infrastructure and displaying violent behaviour which is totally unacceptable. “We are working together with the South African Police Service to try and curb this problem,” Mphafudi said.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the alleged gang rapes should serve as a wake-up call.

WATCH: Krugersdorp gang rape: Seven more suspects arrested

“The ANC has vowed to highlight and address challenges posed by illegal miners or zama zamas.

“We need government to work with speed to deal with these issues of zama zamas, illegal immigrants and mining. And also impose on illegal companies, never to leave mining dumps unrehabilitated.”

The cases of illegal mining and contraventions of the immigration laws were postponed to next week Wednesday.

Most of the accused were from Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It was understood 69 individuals were undocumented.

ANC / DA / Zama zamas
Supporters of various political parties demonstrate outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on 3 August 2022 as suspects appear in connection with the rape of eight women last week at a mine dump. Picture: Michel Bega

The men, who were represented by Legal Aid, faced charges which included illegal mining, contravention of section 49 of the Immigration Act, unlawful use of explosives and firearms and possible attempted murder.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Muridli said two firearms were recovered during the operation.

The court instructed that the suspects names not be published, nor their pictures published, pending an identification parade.

Muridli said DNA testing and identification parades were underway.

“DNA samples are taken when suspects are processed after their detention. Investigators will decide a suitable time to conduct identification parades,” she said.

NOW READ: Calls for permanent closure of abandoned mines to stop zama zamas