Bodies of 20 Alleged Illegal Miners Found Decomposed in the North West

Bodies of 20 Alleged Illegal Miners Found Decomposed in the North West

  • The bodies of 20 men have been found in Orkney and it has been alleged that the men were illegal miners were working in an old mine shaft
  • The SAPS discovered the bodies in two separate areas - five bodies at first then another 14 and then one more in the first location
  • Mzansi is disturbed by the news of the bodies being found and police have revealed that investigations are ongoing

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The South African Police Service has opened inquest dockets after finding the remains of 20 unidentified males at two locations in Orkney, Klerksdorp. The bodies were found on Tuesday, 15 June, and Wednesday, 16 June.

According to SAPS, the first five bodies, which were decomposed, were found on Tuesday at 7pm outside an unused, old mine ventilation shaft. On Wednesday, 14 more decomposed bodies were found.

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The police received information that yet another body was found where the first five were. This brought the total number of bodies to 20. The SAPS stated that the deceased men were allegedly illegal miners that were working in shafts in Stilfontein and Orkney.

Bodies of 20 alleged illegal miners found decomposed in the North West
The decomposed bodies of 20 men who were allegedly illegal miners were found in the North West. Image: SAPS
Source: Facebook

Body burns and post-mortems

The deceased's remains showed severe burns. The SAPS stated that post-mortems will be conducted to determine the cause of death. The bodies were discovered wrapped in plastic bags.

Alleged viral video

The SAPS alleged that the incident may be linked to a viral video on social media in which a man was seen begging for help while suffering from smoke inhalation in Shaft Number 6.

Mzansi's response to the tragedy

Moroka Wa Malatsi said:

"We don't know what to say or who to blame it is either poverty or recklessness and even law-breaking on the side of victims, mine management, state or police. But lives were lost as an actual fact trying to make money to live."

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Queen Talisha Pontsho wrote:

"When are the SAPS and the military getting spyware drones! SA's police force is very ineffective. Waste of tax, that’s what."

Marsh Mnm Major shared:

"Look into the ownership and the security personnel in charge. Those mine owners could have collectively colluded to eradicate the Zama-Zamas. These killings clearly are motivated by hate and abuse of power. The Zama-Zamas understood they were in the wrong, hence could not fight back and instead pleaded for their freedom."

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Diamond rush in KZN

Recently, Briefly News reported that KwaHlathi village near Ladysmith has seen a large influx of people swarming in for over a week following reports of diamonds being found in the area. This inevitably resulted in illegal mining being taken up.

According to Provincial Government Spokesperson Lennox Mabaso, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs was instructed to notify the National Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE) of the situation so that they may respond appropriately.

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The Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE) has responded with a pledge to assign teams consisting of the department’s enforcement and compliance unit as well as officials from the Council for Geoscience and the Council for Mineral Technology to conduct an inspection of the sites.

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Source: Briefly News

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