RAMPAGING RESIDENTS of Kagiso have taken it upon themselves to hunt zama zamas.
Their searches revealed about 10 abandoned mine shafts where illegal miners were hiding.
THEY FOUND GOLD REFINERIES, CONDOMS, POTS, GENERATORS, DUST BINS AND AMMUNITION!
The search for zama zamas in the West Rand town was conducted from the early morning and by around midday, about 30 had been rounded up.
They were stripped naked and beaten.
Some were seen sobbing while bleeding from their wounds.
Many of them seemed to be young – no older than about 20.
Residents said that in their search to apprehend zama zamas, they found 10 illegal mine shafts – holes in the ground where they were hiding.
The residents went to the illegal mining area where the zama zamas were refining their minerals. Residents had burned down the mkhukhus at the scene.
Angry residents went as far as closing off the holes used by zama zamas as hide-outs.
Police also threw tear gas into some of the holes.
Addressing the media, Pastor Joe Mabuela, said they were unhappy with the police.
“They promised us an escort and protection but they are turning against us.
“We have apprehended the people but instead of the police working with us, they are firing tear gas at the residents,” he said.
Deputy national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Tebello Mosikili addressed Kagiso residents and assured them police will be on the ground dealing with the matter.
“We can’t allow residents to go inside those illegal mine holes since the people are armed.”
She said police were overwhelmed, hence some of the people were found beaten, not that the police were allowing it.
“We have been on the ground, intervening and rescuing those people,” she said.