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Kagiso in flames over illegal mining field

Police are watching Kagiso residents protesting against illegal mining. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani

Surrounding areas of Kagiso, west of johannesburg, were in flames on Thursday as residents protested, raided, and burned fields belonging to illegal miners known as Zama Zamas.

The community is fighting illegal miners who have been terrorizing the neighbourhood with crime, guns, and raping women. A home belonging to Bongani Sithole (50), a South African of BaSotho tribe was set on fire because the community believed the man was housing two Zama Zamas.

Kagiso residents prevent the fire from spreading. Bongani Sithole shack was set on fire by the protesting Kagiso community members. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani

Bongani Sithole stands next to what remains of his shack after it was set on fire by the protesting Kagiso community members. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani

The Kagiso protest comes in the wake of more than 80 men suspected of gang-raping eight women and arm rob a video production crew, filming a music video at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp.

The community closed holes around the mining field believed to be used by illegal miners. They found ammunition, generators, pots, and condoms inside the holes.

Kagiso Residents closing a mining hole believed to be used illegal miners. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani

As the community marched through the streets of Kagiso, calling for an end of illegal mining, a field where illegal miners clean gold was set on fire. They also found a house which supplied the illegal miners with electricity to use unlawful mining equipment.

A mining field used by Zama Zama to clean gold, set on fire by the community. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani

"We care about our nation. We're closing every hole that is here." said Tiisetso Phadi, leader of Mogale City Parliament

"In this place, we do not live in peace. We are even scared of walking down the open field. People are killed, and corpses are found here," said community member Shadrack Makwakwa (47).

It is unclear if the protest will continue, but the community believes they are still more Zama Zamas hiding in the community.

A group of women watches flames of fire go up at a field that was used by illegal miners known as Zama Zama. Picture: Cebisile Mbonani


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