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South Africans wielding machetes attack illegal miners for gang rape

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday condemned acts of “mob justice” carried out by South Africans against illegal miners this week in response to the brutal gang rape of eight women by suspected illegal miners last week in an abandoned mine. near Krugersdorp, South Africa, eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) reported.

“Today we also saw mob justice play out,” Ramaphosa acknowledged in a televised address at the South Africa Presidential Social Sector Summit in Boksburg on August 5.

“People, because of their anger, come out to confront a number of people and there is mob justice,” Ramaphosa said, as quoted by eNCA.

The President referred to mob violence against members of the illegal mining camps in Krugersdorp beginning August 4 and continuing until August 5.

Al Jazeera detailed some examples of violence on Thursday, writing:

Thousands of angry residents in the South African town of Krugersdorp attacked a group of illegal miners with machetes, golf clubs and hammers after a gang rape last week shocked the nation.

“Mobs set fire to their camps in Kagiso township in Krugersdorp on Thursday and barricaded the roads with rocks and burning tires during a protest against the presence of the miners, whom they accuse of being responsible high levels of crime in the area.

Some were stripped naked and whipped by locals, while others were driven from their camps and beaten before being handed over to authorities. Police stood at a distance and fired stun grenades from a helicopter to disperse the crowd.

The attacks on the illegal miners’ camps – colloquially known as “zama zamas” – were perpetrated by local residents. Many residents are frustrated by the alleged inaction of the police against the established harmful activities of miners in the area. Most zama zamas entered South Africa illegally from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“Residents in several areas of the West Rand of Gauteng have gone on a rampage against the zama zamas after the brutal gang rape of eight women at a mining dump in Krugersdorp a week ago,” eNCA reported on August 5.

“Meanwhile, residents of Kagiso say there are not enough visible police,” the news agency reported.

Krugersdorp is a town located in the province of Gauteng in South Africa, while Kagiso is a township of Krugersdorp.

Women demonstrate outside the courthouse in Krugersdorp, South Africa, Monday August 1, 2022. More than 80 men suspected of the gang rapes of eight women and the armed robbery of a video production crew in the town of Ming, Johannesburg West, appeared in court on Monday. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

South African authorities suspect that a zama zama gang of unknown numbers carried out a brutal gang rape of eight women in an abandoned mine near Krugersdorp on July 28. The armed gang surrounded the group of women, most of whom were hired-for-date models, as they attempted to film a music video at the remote site before repeatedly raping them at gunpoint.

“There, young people between 19 and 37 years old were raped, some by 10 men. You can imagine the trauma in this situation,” South African Police Minister Bheki Cele told eNCA on July 30.

An anonymous gang-rape survivor has described some of the men who raped her as “young boys”, à la South Africa. Sunday time July 31.

“They kept telling the young boys to rape us and they were hitting them and forcing them to do it,” a woman who helped book the models for the video shoot told the newspaper.

“The young boys then took us, one by one, into the bushes. The last time they raped me was in front of the other group,” she said.

South African police arrested more than 80 men, mostly Zama Zamas, in the week following the July 28 gang rape in Krugersdorp. However, it remains unclear how many suspects, or if any, are responsible for the gang rape, as authorities have so far only charged the suspects with illegal immigration or theft.

South African Police Minister Bheki Cele told eNCA on July 30 that “DNA tests and identification parades will take place soon to see if any of the suspects were part of the group that raped the women. “.

“Surely our labs, which are grinding now, they will prioritize, work on that,” he added.

South Africa has the third highest rape rate in the world after Lesotho and Botswana. The South African government recorded nearly 11,000 rape cases in the first three months of 2022.


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