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Compiled by Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

‘We are being disrespected by zama zamas’ – Gayton McKenzie

McKenzie's comments come nearly three years after Riverlea residents called for him and Kenny Kunene to be charged over alleged broken promises.

Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie has welcomed police raids in Riverlea overnight, urging law enforcement to take the battle against illegal mining to other parts of the country.

The area has been plagued by running gun battles between rival zama zama gangs that have left the community in fear.

Police conducted raids in Riverlea and nearby Zamimpilo informal settlement on Wednesday evening after minister Bheki Cele earlier promised to dispatch specialised units to the area.

McKenzie welcomed the intervention, urging it be “spread to the whole of South Africa”.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘There was nothing police could do’- Riverlea resident details the night zama zamas came guns blazing

Responding to a video of an alleged zama zama making threats, McKenzie said it was time to restore law and order.

“We are being disrespected at an indescribable level by these illegal miners. We have been warning you, these people will rather declare war before they leave the country.”

He claimed police were often scared to “deal decisively” with illegal miners.

“This operation can be over in a few hours if we are seriously fighting crime.”

ALSO READ: ‘It’s like Bheki Cele was never here, Riverlea is the same’

Gauteng police spokesperson Brenda Muridili said specialised forces arrested 35 undocumented persons in the raid. “One person for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, three for common assault and four for possession of suspected stolen property,” she said.

Cele rubbished suggestions police were not doing enough in Riverlea.

‘Gayton and Kenny must be charged’

McKenzie’s comments come nearly three years after Riverlea residents called for him and PA deputy Kenny Kunene to be charged over alleged broken promises.

The Citizen reported previously residents want the duo, who they believed were executives of Central Rand Gold (CRG), and other directors, to be charged for failing to adhere to the requirements of the National Environmental Management Act.

In response, McKenzie said he and Kunene left CRG about 11 years before and had nothing to do with it since.

Additional reporting by Sipho Mabena

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