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Johannesburg - Police believe a Carletonville woman was lucky to have survived a six-hour gang rape and severe assault by 15 men believed to be illegal miners.

The 23-year-old woman walked to the nearest police station, where she reported the matter in the early hours of Thursday.

Police arrested a suspect at the scene and 11 more a few hours later. The suspects are believed to be Basotho men working as illegal miners, also known as zama zamas, in gold mines around Carletonville.

The victim and a friend were on their way home to Mpahla Village near Carletonville when they were confronted by the zama zamas.

Her friend fled and escaped unhurt, but the victim was surrounded and attacked.

“The victim was hit on the head with a knobkierie and dragged into the bushes and raped by a group of eight suspects,” Gauteng police spokes-man Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

He added that the woman was taken against her will to a shack about 500m away near Driefontein No 5 Shaft, where more men raped her. Fifteen suspects are believed to have been involved.

Dlamini said police dogs were called to the scene. With their help, more suspects were detained after the initial arrests.

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The Star