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Disused Secunda gold mines become zama zama hot spot

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DEEPER AND DEEPER Illegal miners have been responsible for escalating violence as a result of rival gang wars. Picture: Dudu Zitha
DEEPER AND DEEPER Illegal miners have been responsible for escalating violence as a result of rival gang wars. Picture: Dudu Zitha

Mpumalanga’s disused gold mines in the Secunda area are becoming the next hot spot for “zama zamas”, or illegal miners, many of them foreigners from countries such as Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Late last month, Mpumalanga police arrested a well-prepared army of 197 Lesotho nationals, aged between 16 and 68, with 20 pickaxes, 13 shovels and two unlicensed firearms, at Evander, Embalenhle and Osizweni informal settlements.

Just three years ago, the police arrested 109 foreign nationals from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique en masse in the same area.

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