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POLL | How should 'zama zamas' attackers be punished?

05 August 2022 - 13:00
Anger over recent rapes in Krugersdorp, allegedly by illegal miners, has seen Kagiso residents take to the streets, vowing to shut down zama zama camps.
Anger over recent rapes in Krugersdorp, allegedly by illegal miners, has seen Kagiso residents take to the streets, vowing to shut down zama zama camps.
Image: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Attacks on “zama zamas” have sparked fierce debate on how those involved should be dealt with.

Frustrated Kagiso community members took to the streets this week to share their anger at the recent rapes of eight women in Krugersdorp, allegedly at the hands of illegal miners.

Main routes, shops, clinics and schools were closed, as residents said they were “cleaning up” the area.

They raided open veld armed with sticks and captured 21 young men believed to be zama zamas. They were stripped naked and beaten. Their shacks were reportedly torched and mine shafts shut.

The protests spread to Munsieville, Krugersdorp, on Friday morning, where two alleged zama zamas survived a mob attack.

They were kicked and insulted before being loaded into a police van.

Kagiso’s Tiisetso Phadi said community members were doing what the police failed to do — combating crime by illegal miners.

Others condemned the attacks, saying criminality was not the answer.

Since Friday, Gauteng police have arrested over 130 “illegal miners” around Krugersdorp's West Village in response to the rapes at a disused mine dump. 

Gauteng police spokesperson Brig Brenda Muridili said they had led multiple operations to clamp down on zama zamas and disrupt their operations.

“The team has arrested 30 undocumented people, bringing the number to over 130 suspects who have been arrested since the province’s high-level operations started on July 29.”


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