Zama Zamas' stray bullets hit two young girls playing on mine dump

2015-07-20 08:44
Five arrested suspects and eleven bags of gold dust. (Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department)

Five arrested suspects and eleven bags of gold dust. (Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department)

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Johannesburg - Two young girls playing near a mine dump in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, were hit by stray bullets in a shooting apparently involving illegal miners on Sunday, according to officials.

The two girls, aged 7 and 11, were hospitalised after suffering minor to moderate injuries to the legs due to bullets that ricocheted, said ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring.

"Paramedics treated the patients for their injuries and thereafter transported them to Far East Rand Hospital for urgent treatment."

The shooting happened at a mine dump near the N12 in Putfontein, Benoni on Sunday morning.


Meiring said the circumstances of the shooting were not known. But Ekurhuleni metro police department spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said although he was not aware of the two girls being injured, a shooting involving illegal miners was reported in the N12/Putfontein informal settlement around 11:00 on Sunday morning.

Metro police responding to the scene spotted a bullet-riddled blue Volkswagen Polo leaving the informal settlement, and closed in on it near Golden Drive in Benoni.

"The EMPD Equestrian members were able to arrest five suspects, seize eleven bags laden with suspected gold dust as well as the vehicle the suspects were travelling in as it had several bullet holes on its body."

Four of the five men are Lesotho nationals and one man is a Mozambican. The men were aged between 18 and 38.

"They were all locked up on charges of illegal mining at Benoni police station and are expected to appear in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court soon," said Kgasago.

Last month, police got involved in a shoot-out with about 30 foreign nationals believed to be illegal miners in Benoni. No-one was hurt but nine people were arrested.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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