- The South African Police Services in the North West were involved in a shootout with a group of illegal miners dubbed the 'zama zamas'
- The shooting incident led to the deaths of six people and the police managed to apprehend over 30 other illegal miners
- The police say the confrontation between the miners and SAPS happened when the 'zama zamas' were blocked from delivering food parcels to other unlawful miners who were in the mines
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ORKNEY - The South African Police Services in the North West has clashed with six illegal mineshaft workers which led to a deadly shootout.
The incident took place in Orkney on Wednesday and SAPS North West spokesperson in the North West Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, confirmed that the confrontation was between SAPS members and 35 unlawful miners have been arrested.
TimesLIVE reports that the clash between SAPS and the unlawful miners occurred when security personnel and police attempted to stop the miners from delivering food boxes to other illegal miners that were underground,
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A gang of around 300 illegal miners called the 'zama zamas' fought the police and security personnel and fired at them.
The mining management has decided to curb illegal mining activity by closing down a shaft the zama zamas had been using to gain entry. This led to illegal miners being cut off from their food supply.
Upwards of 500 illegal miners had left the mines since the shaft was closed.
Bodies of 20 alleged illegal miners found decomposed in the North West
Briefly News previously reported that 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.
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.
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.
Source: Briefly News