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One killed as Kagiso residents descend on zama zamas

People from different organisations demonstrate outside the Krugersdorp Magistrates court as 80+ people appear in court for various crimes including the rape of 8 young girls who were shooting a music video in the area.Image: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

People from different organisations demonstrate outside the Krugersdorp Magistrates court as 80+ people appear in court for various crimes including the rape of 8 young girls who were shooting a music video in the area.Image: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 5, 2022

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Angry South Africans in and around the country staged protests over the electricity crisis, high cost of living and high crime levels involving illegal immigrants.

Residents of Kagiso in the West Rand (Mogale City) took to the streets yesterday, protesting over the influx of illegal immigrants who are mining in the area illegally. One person was killed.

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The area has been in the news after a number of women and men had become victims of heinous crime, including murder and sexual offences.

The latest incident was the robbery and rape of eight women who were shooting a music video eight days ago.

More than 80 people were arrested and appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court this week in connection with alleged rape and illegal mining.

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The protesting community managed to close down unused mines, and collected what looked like gold from illegal miners who had abandoned it and run for cars following the clampdown.

“We are not going to rest until all the illegal miners leave this area,” said residents.

However, police addressed the residents and pleaded that they were taking over the scene and asked for five community leaders who formed part of a task team to accompany them to conduct more searches around the mine shafts.

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Earlier residents destroyed and burned makeshift structures.

Residents accused the local police of taking bribes from the illegal miners, they also said they went to the police multiple times to report crime, but the police did not help them.

‘“We understand the community’s frustration but we have been on the ground. We are searching and asked the community to share information with police. Police have been doing O Kae Molao operations to fight crime. We want to see South Africans live normal lives,” said the new deputy national commissioner for policing, Lieutenant-General Tebello Mosikili.

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She said they had intervened and rescued some people.

“We agree we were overwhelmed but we managed to save some people. We are working with all role-players. There are many other organisations working with us as extended hands with the police.

“We will continue to make more arrests and get rid of people who are bad for communities. The operations are going to be impactful, hence we have made arrests,” said Mosikili.

Residents started burning down shacks belonging to alleged illegal miners around 4.30pm

Gauteng Police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza confirmed that one person had been killed.

“A body of an unknown man was discovered in an open field in the Krugersdorp area. The motive and cause of death will form part of the investigation,” said Kweza.

She said the police dispatched the necessary management team to the crime scene. Police, including the Public Order team, were monitoring the protest and have urged protesters to engage with police to return calm to the township.

Police confirmed that more than 20 suspects were arrested yesterday alone and about 19 foreign nationals were rescued from the protesters.

Residents told reporters that they don't feel safe in their own area.

“As a woman and resident in this area, I don't feel safe at all. Police must be more visible and we are asking for sniffer dogs to form part of investigations. We fear and are sick and tired of these illegal miners,” said Seromelo Motoung,

Gauteng Premier David Makhura appealed for calm following the violent protest action in Kagiso.

Makhura said residents had a right to protest but it had to be done within the confines of the law, in a peaceful and constructive manner in order to find amicable ways of dealing with challenges of crime and illegal mining in the area.

IFP Gauteng chairperson Bonginkosi Dhlamini said they were concerned about the violent protests in the province.

“We are are sitting in a ticking time bomb. The government is behaving like it is business as usual, they don’t care. We have seen in Tembisa, eMalahleni and now in Kagiso violent protests. These are underlying issues, there is high unemployment in the country. As the IFP we condemn violence, there are peaceful means to deal with this,” said Dhlamini.

He advised that the police should be beefed up.

On Monday, Tembisa residents in Ekurhuleni had a violent service delivery protest that claimed five lives.

Cosatu also marched against crime and the high cost of living in the Western Cape.

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