87 people questioned for stoning of 9 Lesotho citizens in Gauteng

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DIY diamond miners in Kimberley. (Mujahid Safodien/AFP, file)
DIY diamond miners in Kimberley. (Mujahid Safodien/AFP, file)
Mujahid Safodien

Police have taken 87 people in for questioning following the deaths of nine people in Matholeville, Johannesburg, on Friday.

The nine Lesotho nationals, who were reportedly involved in illegal mining, were allegedly stoned to death by fellow zama-zamas (illegal miners) from Lesotho.

READ | 9 Lesotho nationals stoned to death in Joburg allegedly by fellow zama-zamas

The bodies of the nine Lesotho citizens were found lying in the streets of Matholeville, while a tenth person was seriously injured. He was taken to a local hospital where he is being treated.

"[A] few hours after nine people were murdered in Matholeville, Provincial Commissioner of the Police in Gauteng Lieutenant General Elias Mawela summoned police officers from different stations and units within the Johannesburg District and Provincial Office to hunt down the suspects and deal with all forms of criminality in Matholeville and the surrounding areas," says police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza.

"The manhunt will continue until all the suspects linked to the murder are located and arrested."

The attacks occurred less than 24 hours after police, led by Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, the area during Operation Okae Molao.

The provincial commissioner has mobilised different law enforcement agencies to hunt down the suspects.

"We condemn this barbaric attack and we will ensure that no stone will be left unturned in making the people of Matholeville and Roodepoort feel safe. The suspects will be arrested as soon as possible, and the police will not sleep until we found them," Mawela said on Friday.

Police have urged anyone who may have witnessed the murders or has information that can help the investigation to contact the nearest police station or crime stop on 08600 10111.

Information can be given anonymously, and witnesses will be offered protection.

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