Pretoria – The ruling African National Congress (ANC) will protest outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning as more than 80 illegal miners who were arrested following a gang rape of eight young women in West Village, Krugersdorp, are appearing in court.
Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the governing party could not fold its arms and wanted to send a clear message to criminals.
“It is foreign nationals who are in the country illegally, undocumented, committing horrendous crimes. Look at what happened in Krugersdorp over the weekend. We cannot fold our arms,” said Mabe.
“These chaps are appearing in court (and) we need to be seen putting pressure on the magistrate’s court, on the police – to make sure that they get a sentence that sends a message, even to others that might be tempted to do such things. South Africa is not a playground. We cannot allow our country.”
He said some of the crime shows there are people “clearly undermining the sovereignty of the Republic,” and the law must take its course.
“They will not do it in their own countries. Why do they think that here in South Africa, they can come and just play as they wish? We can’t allow that,” said Mabe.
On Tuesday night, police said at least 46 illegal miners had been arrested, and one was fatally wounded during an intense multi-disciplinary operation carried out by different law enforcement units simultaneously on eight premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein.
Spokesperson for the Hawks, Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase, said the operation aimed at curtailing illegal mining comprised the Hawks based in West Rand, several SAPS units, including the Airwing and Crime Intelligence, the Gauteng Traffic Police, G4S and Fidelity security, Sibanye Stillwater’s protection services and Eskom officials.
Last week, eight women who were shooting a music video at the mine dump were raped allegedly by armed illegal miners, commonly known as zama zamas.
Hundreds of zama-zamas have since been arrested, but police have yet to positively link them to the rape.
According to reports, one of the victims was raped by at least 10 men.