The banks of the Sand River. Picture: John Yeld

Johannesburg - The body of a second illegal miner was found in a shallow grave on the banks of the Sand River in Thabong, Free State police said on Saturday.

“He had a deep wound at the back of his head,” Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said.

“The injury seems to have been caused by a blunt object.”

On Thursday, the body of a Lesotho national, his hands bound with cable-ties, was found in the river.

Police thereafter launched a search for three more men believed to have also been shot and dumped in the river.

The men were believed to be illegal miners.

They were allegedly processing gold dust near the river when a rival group of illegal miners attacked them.

Witnesses told police the rival group took four men to the river before gunshots were heard.

Khosana said a postmortem would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

The search for more bodies would continue on Monday, he said. - Sapa