Bodies of 7 suspected illegal miners found

2018-01-14 19:13
(Gallo Images/Getty Images)

(Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Johannesburg - The decomposing bodies of seven suspected illegal miners were found in a veld near a mineshaft in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, police said on Sunday.

"It is suspected that they all have been shot and killed somewhere and the bodies later dumped," said Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, spokesperson for the police in Gauteng province.

"Police have opened murder cases for investigation."

The alarm was raised after somebody saw them lying in the veld.

Police think they may have been lying there for two or three days.

They have not been identified yet and further details such as the name of the mine were not immediately available.

"Police are also appealing to anyone with information relating to the identity of the bodies as well as information about the perpetrators to come forward," said Dlamini.

In November, four illegal miners were killed and 15 others arrested after a shootout with police in Boksburg, also along the eastern mining belt of Johannesburg.

Known as "zama zamas", illegal miners enter closed or disused shafts without mining licences and work without the usual safety standards in place. The secretive community has evolved into an informal industry where the yield is sold on parallel markets.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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