- Seven suspects arrested during a swoop on illegal miners in Krugersdorp have been charged with the gang rape of eight women.
- They were part a group of more than 60 suspects who appeared in court on Wednesday.
- They seven were initially charged with being in South Africa illegally, but now face additional charges, including multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, and robbery with aggravated circumstances.
Seven suspected illegal miners arrested during police operations following the gang rape of eight women in Krugersdorp on the West Rand two weeks ago have been charged in connection with the rape.
"There is a prima facie case against the seven that appeared today [Wednesday]. The charges relate to the incident that happened to a crew that was busy filming a music video in the West Rand," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told journalists outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Initially, the accused only faced a charge of being in the country illegally but have now face additional charges, including multiple counts of rape, sexual assault and robbery with aggravated circumstances.
All seven told the court that they would apply for legal aid.
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One told the court that he was 18, while another said he was 15. Mjonondwane said seven more suspects were expected to appear in the same court on Thursday and expected to face similar charges.
"The prosecutor first had to go through the contents of the docket and satisfy herself that there is prima facie evidence, hence all the 14 accused from the 64 accused that appeared in court are now facing charges, ranging from multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, and robbery with aggravated circumstances," she said, adding that how authorities linked to the rapes would be divulged in court.
However, Mjonondwane confirmed that an identity parade had taken place on Tuesday.
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"We cannot rule out the possibility of more people being charged and added to the docket that consists of rape charges. We will be guided by the direction the investigation takes," she said.
The case was postponed to 28 September for further investigations.
The minor would be taken to a place of safety and is expected back in court on Thursday, pending the outcome of an age assessment.