Mob attacks illegal miners after rapes shock South Africa | News

Residents of Krugersdorp take to the streets after eight women were raped in an attack perpetrated by illegal miners.

Thousands of angry residents in the South African city of Krugersdorp attacked a group of illegal miners with machetes, golf clubs and hammers after a gang rape last week shocked the country.

Crowds set fire to their camps in the Krugersdorp town of Kagiso on Thursday and roads were barricaded with stones and burning tires during a protest against the presence of the miners, whom they blame high crime levels in the area.

Some were stripped and whipped by residents, while others were kicked out of the camps and beaten before being handed over to authorities.

Police kept their distance and fired stun grenades from the helicopter to disperse the crowd.

“We want the police to help us because illegal miners are terrorizing us. We can’t simply walk around the neighborhood at night because they raped us,” said Nhrinhla Felatsi, a protester.

Eight models were raped on July 28 when a television crew was filming a music video at a minefield in the nearby town of West Village. attacked by heavily armed men.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said unofficial miners – commonly known as “zama-zamas” – were likely behind the sensational attack.

Police officers and locals stand next to alleged illegal miners known as zama-zamas after residents closed their camps because of the recent Krugersdorp mass rape.
Police officers and locals stand next to alleged illegal miners known as ‘zama-zamas’ after residents shut down their camps because of mass rapes [Reuters]

‘Pull up their socks’

More than 80 suspects appeared in court on Monday. Police said they were analyzing DNA evidence and investigating 32 counts of rape. But residents accuse local authorities of inaction despite warnings that illegal miners are operating in the area as part of a larger crime series.

Krugersdorp, a mining city on the western edge of Johannesburg, is home to armed gangs vying for control of abandoned mines to mine leftover gold.

This trade is believed to be dominated by immigrants entering illegally from neighboring countries Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“We are not only fighting against the zama-zamas, we are fighting against all evil. Our police have to stand up, our police have to pull up their socks,” said Kabelo Matlou, a local government official.

The Krugersdorp residents’ retaliatory attack comes at a time when South Africa is seeing an uptick in xenophobic attacks by locals blaming foreigners for crime in their area.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has explode groups watch out for harassment and assault on migrants, likening their behavior to strategies employed by the apartheid regime against Blacks.

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