Angry Kagiso residents target zama zamas

In Kagiso, police have thrown tear gas down mine shafts. The community wants the immigration policy overhauled. SALGA president Bheke Stofile discussed this with eNCA's Thulasizwe Simelane. Courtesy of #DStv403

KAGISO - Angry protesters hunted down miners without permits, sealing makeshift shafts and burning houses after the mass rape of eight women last week west of Johannesburg.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has said informal miners commonly known as "zama zamas" -- believed to largely be foreigners illegally in the country -- were likely behind the shocking attack in Krugersdorp.

READ: Kagiso protesters breaking into homes of alleged foreign nationals

Armed with machetes, golf clubs and hammers, mobs of residents on Thursday moved from one area to another on the fringes of the town's Kagiso township, trying to smoke out miners operating illegally in informal shafts.

Protesters used boulders to close makeshift mine shafts in a Kagiso district known as Soul City.

READ: Kagiso protesters breaking into homes of alleged foreign nationals

"The zama zamas must go, they are attacking our sisters," 39-year-old protester Daniel Nzuma told AFP. 

Residents in the town blamed poor policing for the deepening illegal mining crisis.

READ: Chaos descends on Kagiso township

Kagiso police "have failed", said Nzuma.

"The army must come and assist the police in this area to protect the community." 

Police kept a distance and fired stun grenades from a helicopter to disperse the crowds.


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