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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Krugersdorp gang rape: Seven more suspects arrested

Police Minister Bheki Cele joined a multi-disciplinary team on Tuesday to take down illegal mining syndicates

Police have arrested seven more suspects in connection with the Krugersdorp gang rape.

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 says the police, through the Hawks, are investigating and getting to those in illicit mining in the West Rand and not just the zama zamas who are often young, desperate individuals illegally in the country.

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“What is worrying, you see very young people from Mozambique, and I don’t know if those guys on their own they found their way down here. It does look like there is some form of human trafficking. Maybe we are doing enough on the ground level, but we need to go upstairs, we need to find the bosses.

“What we don’t need to do now is we don’t have to stop. We need to keep rolling with this operation in these four problematic provinces,” Cele said.

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 says the firearms seized at the scene are also suspected to come from Mozambique.

“The investigations will tell us more, but those guns are not from channels of Saps, Saps don’t have AK47s. Most of these people are from Mozambique, so we hope that most of the guns will be from there and other countries, but there is a lot of guns here.”

Eight women, between the ages of 19 and 35, were raped at gunpoint and their film crew robbed, allegedly by a gang of “zama zamas” during a music video shoot at a mine dump in West Village last Thursday.

At least 84 suspects were arrested in connection with the gang rape and have made their first appearance in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday, facing charges related to illegal mining, contravention of the Immigration Act as well as the possession of suspected stolen goods.

The suspects are expected back in court on Wednesday.

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