Illegal miners flocked back to Krugersdorp after gang-rape charges were dropped

Community member Stephen Ndlovu said they have been living in fear since July.

The community of Krugersdorp said scores of zama zamas returned to the area after the gang rape charges against the 14 illegal miners were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

21 bodies found in Krugersdorp

This after police discovered 19 bodies of suspected illegal miners at an active mine in the West Rand area on Wednesday. The death toll rose to 21 after two more bodies were found on Thursday.

The bodies are believed to have been placed where they were found, however no foul play is suspected and post-mortem results will determine the cause of death.

One of the community members, Stephen Ndlovu, said they have been living in fear ever since the gang rape in July.

The issue of zama zamas in the area resurfaced, when a group of eight women were gang-raped at gunpoint by alleged zama zamas while they were shooting a music video.

“If it is not an incident like this, other people will be shot, they will be stabbed, they will be robbed. Many evil things are happening in our area these days,” said Ndlovu.

NOW READ: Police discover more bodies of suspected illegal miners in Krugersdorp

The gang rape sparked public outcry and prompted Police Minister Bheki Cele to hold a crime combatting imbizo to curb illicit mining operations and crime in West Village.

Situation worsened after rape charges were dropped

However, Ndlovu told SABC News the situation only improved for a short while after Cele deployed specialised police units in the area.

“After the imbizo, the situation was under control, though they did not go all out but the situation was under control.

“But [after] they dropped that case of the gang rape, they came out in numbers. On the very same day, there were thousands of them on the road,” said Ndlovu.

He also told eNCA of an incident that occurred last week Friday, when he and other security officers drove to the same mine and saw the alleged zama zamas loading items in big trucks.

Ndlovu said they appeared out of the bushes, armed with guns, and approached their car. He and the officers immediately drove away.

“I only drove this side because I was with security officers, we were checking the place. There was a big truck here… and they were loading it by hand.”

NOW READ: Krugersdorp gang rape: Charges dropped against suspected illegal miners

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