Four illegal miners killed, bodies dumped in mine shaft
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Pretoria - Four illegal miners were killed after a fight broke out at the Transvaal Gold Mining Estate in Dientjie in Mpumalanga.
Police said the four bodies were retrieved on Wednesday afternoon and a person arrested in connection with the murders was due to appear before the Graskop magistrate's court soon
Mpumalanga police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said information they received was that a fight broke out between two groups of illegal miners.
“Four men were killed in the process (and) their bodies dumped in a mine shaft. Another victim was severely assaulted and taken to hospital for medical treatment,” said Hlathi.
“Police were then informed about the killings and were quick to discover that the man (in) hospital was actually involved in the whole saga. The suspect was then arrested and is currently under police guard (in) hospital.”
Hlathi said several incidents of unauthorised mining had previously been reported and the suspects arrested and brought before the courts.
“The police have on several occasions warned people not to engage in illegal mining activities,” he added.
Acting Mpumalanga police commissioner Major General Thulani Phahla condemned the killings.
"This incident has shown once again the dangers of unlawful and unauthorised mining which often puts the lives of those involved at risk," Phahla said.
Police are calling on anyone with information on the whereabouts of the outstanding suspects to contact Detective Warrant Officer Levy Mashilo on 082 663 3931.