Calls on government to close abandoned mine shaft fueling illegal mining – SABC News

The community of Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, is calling on the government to close the abandoned mine shaft which they claim is fueling illegal mining.

Some of the residents say they are forced to sleep under beds for fear of being victimized by illegal miners who they accuse of complicity in crimes such as rape, murder and robbery.

The Kagiso community took to the streets on Thursday to protest illegal mining in the area.

Video: Mogale Mayor Tyrone Gray calls for peaceful protests

Residents moved from house to house where the illegal miners lived and demolished their huts before confiscating some of the equipment and tools they used in their illegal mining operations.

Community leader Skeelo Moswang says: “As you can see, we have closed their shaft – that’s where they mine gold – they only rented this place to refine gold.

Residents descended on the house in Kagiso Annex 8, where the zama zamas were renting and started dismantling the structures.

Large bathtubs filled with dirty water and bags containing cleaned soil bore witness to the illegal mining they had begun. The owner of the building, who prefers to remain anonymous, says he tried to evict them, but they refused after realizing that what they are doing is illegal.

“I asked them why what you are doing is attracting so many police officers. They told me they work with the police. I had hope when I saw police cars coming at night and thought they would take them away, but they didn’t – they just took the money.

Residents of the Soul City informal settlement – ​​also in Kagiso – arrested 19 illegal miners near the Tudor shaft. They were stripped and whipped – before being rescued by the police.

Soul City community members include Sbongile Maishe – who lost her 17-year-old daughter in 2019, allegedly to illegal miners. She says her daughter was abducted and her body was found dumped near a manhole near Tudor Shaft a week later. She had been gang-raped and murdered. To this day, no one has been arrested for her murder.

“Our local police station had promised that Interpol will go to Lesotho to arrest the suspects and bring them back to South Africa so that the case can be reopened. Since 2019 they have said they will go to Lesotho. I want justice and I will not rest until I get justice for my child.”

“Failure of Justice”

The Soul City community says that the South African legal system has failed them and that is why they have decided to take it upon themselves to track down illegal miners and shut down their operations.

Residents have also called for government to send out troops to help curb illegal mining.

“The solution is to declare a state of emergency and deploy troops.” The police have no manpower and the corruption is too great.”

About 25 illegal foreign nationals had been arrested on Thursday evening. One person also died. Gauteng Deputy Commissioner of Police Tommy Mthombeni says it is not right that they have failed the community.

“You know the numbers in terms of the people we’ve arrested. And certainly these people are arrested because of the efforts of the police. One would understand that these people would not drive themselves to the police station. Even today, there are people who are arrested through the efforts of the police in cooperation with the community.”

Police say they are continuing to monitor the area.

Calls on government to close abandoned mine shaft fueling illegal mining – SABC News

Source link Calls on government to close abandoned mine shaft fueling illegal mining – SABC News

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