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14 men killed elsewhere and dumped in Benoni - police

Published Mar 7, 2017


Johannesburg – Another eight bodies, believed to be those of illegal miners, were found on Monday afternoon in New Modder, near Benoni.

This brings the total to 14 bodies recently discovered in the area after six more were found on Sunday morning by a passer-by near the railway line close to Snake Road in Benoni.

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According to Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, the eight victims found in Unity Street on Monday had been stabbed and may have been shot before their bodies were dumped there.

“The motive for the killings might be linked to the rival gangs involved in illegal mining. It is unknown where they were slain. The bodies have not yet been identified,” Dlamini said.

Dlamini said a team of detectives had been appointed to investigate the killings. All 14 bodies were yet to be identified.

Earlier in the day, police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the six bodies found on Sunday had gunshot wounds to the upper body, in the chest and the head. The men were aged between 20 and 35.

Masondo said police believe the six were also killed somewhere else and dumped in Benoni.

Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane said he condemned in the strongest terms the senseless murder of the 14 people.

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“The Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange and her management team are overseeing the investigation into these murders. We will wait for the investigation to advance and the victims to be identified before speculating on a motive,” Phahlane said in a statement.

“Communities can be assured that the South African Police Service remains committed to further reducing the levels of serious crime and we are presently focusing on refining our crime prevention and combating operational plans.”

Police have also appealed to anyone missing a loved one or with information that could help with identifying the bodies to call them.

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The area is notorious for shoot-outs between rival gangs of illegal miners, with several shooting incidents recorded in the past few years.

Last month, a video emerged on social media of illegal miners in Benoni shooting at quad-bikers in the vicinity.

In January, a man believed to be an illegal miner was found dead on the N12 near the Putfontein off-ramp in Benoni, while in July last year, police and illegal miners were caught up in a gunbattle there.

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Several people, including six miners and an officer, were injured during the incident.

Early in 2015, five illegal miners were found dead by police in the same area, while later that year, 11 miners died from suffocation.


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