Date: 10 Jan 2019


POLICE have arrested a group of six men suspected to be involved in illegal miningrelated gangsterism in the Ekurhuleni areas of Benoni, Springs and Actonville. The alleged zama zamas, as they are called, were surrounded by the police in an open field in Actonville and a shootout ensued.

Police seized five unlicensed firearms – including a revolver and four pistols. Further investigations are being conducted as the gangs might have been responsible for several murders of illegal miners and house robberies in these areas.

According to Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, spokesperson for the SAPS in Gauteng, the arrest and seizure came after police responded to a complaint of shooting between two rival groups in the vicinity of Dube Street in Actonville, on Tuesday afternoon.

One alleged illegal miner had already been injured when police confronted the group. He was taken to the Far East Rand Hospital under police guard. Charges of attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and illegal mining are being investigated by authorities. The suspects are due to appear at the Benoni’s Magistrate Court today.

As police continue to deal with illegal mining, it is believed that the firearms confiscated were used by the rival gangs to attack each other.

In January 2018, bodies of suspected illegal miners were found dumped in an open veld in Benoni. They had all been shot. Police are continuing with their investigations and the firearms seized this week will be taken for forensic examination to determine if they may be linked to the murders.

All the arrested suspects are foreign nationals. 

By Staff Reporter

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