Picture: SAPS/Supplied

As police continue to hunt for the killers of a young couple who were shot in their vehicle, allegations are that the perpetrators could have been illegal miners operating in the area.

This comes after it was alleged that the killers ran towards the direction of an abandoned mine after the attack. 

A post on the Concerned Residents of the South Facebook page also suggested that the attackers were illegal miners.

The victims, a 19-year-old man and his 23-year-old girlfriend were shot and killed by unknown attackers on the Putfontein off-ramp on the N12 on Sunday.

It's believed that the man had called his father to help him with diesel after running out of fuel and on arrival, the father found his son and girlfriend both dead.

Their bakkie was also set alight with their bodies inside after the attack.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini could not confirm if the suspects were illegal miners, saying police were following all leads.

The suspects were reported to have fled the scene on foot in the direction of the abandoned mine. 

"We are looking at those possibilities, because there are some leads that the police are already following," Dlamini said. 

It's still not yet known what the motive behind the murder of two young lovers was but Dlamini said they were attacked by three unknown men while waiting for help.

It's believed the witnesses told the police that three unknown suspects shot the man multiple times first and then shot the woman as she sat in the passenger seat.

Dlamini said after the shooting, the suspect tried to set their bakkie alight.

“Members of the community managed to take the fire extinguisher and prevented the bakkie from catching fire,” Dlamini said.

“It is suspected that the suspects took only the cellphone before they ran away on foot,” he added.

According to ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell, the two victims were declared dead on the scene.

“The female was found inside the cab with a single gunshot wound. The young male was found outside the vehicle having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Both showed no signs of life and were declared dead on arrival,” Campbell said.

Campbell added that the victims were travelling with two workers who fled the scene upon hearing gunshots and only returned after paramedics arrived.  

Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela assigned a task team of investigators to find the suspects.

Mawela also assured the family and community that police will follow all possible leads.

“The tracing team will work around the clock until the killers are brought to justice,” Mawela said.

Dlamini said any information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects may be rewarded.

“The suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous. Members of the public are warned not to confront them, but contact the nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” Dlamini added.