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‘We live with fear’: Anger over violent gangs at Krugersdorp court protest

01 August 2022 - 11:08
'The rival gangs are always fighting and we live with that fear,' Krugersdorp residents say.
'The rival gangs are always fighting and we live with that fear,' Krugersdorp residents say.
Image: Belinda Pheto/TimesLIVE

A woman who last week lost her brother to a stray bullet in a shooting between rival gangs was on Monday among a group gathered outside the Krugersdorp magistrate’s court for the trial of illegal miners arrested after a horror mass rape.

At least 84 people were arrested on charges of contravention of the Immigration Act and possession of suspected stolen goods after Thursday night’s West Village attack on a crew filming a music video. The area is notorious for illegal mining operations.

Julia Jan told TimesLIVE her brother was killed by a stray bullet while waiting for a taxi last week.

“The zama-zamas were shooting at each other and he was caught between. He had nothing to do with what they were fighting for and we lost him,” she said.

She blamed “foreigners” for their woes.

“We are not free in our own country. We don’t have life. We are even scared to go to shops. Government must send the foreigners back to their home countries,” Jan said.

Resident Nomvula Njody issued a desperate plea about high crime levels in the area: “Government must do something to help us.

“The illegal immigrants, especially the zama-zamas, are making our lives hell. We can’t walk on the streets because at any time they might start shooting,” she alleged.

“The rival gangs are always fighting and we live with fear.”

Njody said she went to court to show her support for the women who were raped and add her voice to those calling for action to be taken against the gangs.

“Let all these foreigners be sent back to their countries. We are not free because of them,”  she said.

Asked how she knows that criminals in her area are not South African, she said it was known in the community that the zama-zamas were from Lesotho, with a few from Mozambique and Malawi.

“None of the South Africans are involved in that,” she said.

Political parties are also at the protest.

LISTEN | ‘No stone to be left unturned,’ say police after gang rapes

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