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CAUGHT ON CAM: ZamaZamas apprehended and undressed by angry community members

Just how long do you think it will be before the government goes and gets Zama Zamas under control? Protests against illegal miners are currently causing mayhem in Kagiso. Major roads in and out of the township were blocked by residents on Thursday morning. The people of Kagiso took matters into their own hands and burned down shacks where they believe illegal miners, known as ZamaZamas in the area, were hiding out.

The weather has been bad since morning. Schools were closed and kids were home. Zama zamas have been committing crimes unchecked, and they could even be hired to assassinate enemies, according to residents of Kagiso and Krugersdorp, who say the police there are the most ineffective they have ever seen.

At present, Kagiso is the scene of some very unpleasant events. Since the law is ineffective, vigilantism is increasingly accepted as the norm. Government representatives will merely 'address' the public and the media, but will do nothing to actually solve the problem.

The Krugersdorp shakedown features some intense conflict. Over 30 suspected illegal miners were apprehended and subsequently stripped by locals. There has been a continuation of the neighborhood shutdown as a result of the residents' anger over the increased crime. They want the West Rand's abandoned mines sealed off.

According to Colonel Noxolo Kweza, a spokesperson for the Gauteng police, the body of an unidentified man was found in the open veld in the Chamdor area of Kagiso on Thursday afternoon.

Locals in Kagiso are reportedly blocking roads in an effort to force the closure of abandoned mines, rather than lobbying for their reopening and improving safety measures. South Africans are willing to risk their lives and cause significant damage to the country's infrastructure in order to survive the severe unemployment rate.

But there's more to the story than agreeing that the mines can keep running. Joblessness is a problem, but illegal miners' criminal activity is much more serious, so they need to be dealt with severely. Killing them after stripping them naked is a little more humane. The government needs to actually govern.

According to ANC member Pule Mabe, "they must move with speed because our people are running out of patience" in calling for illegal immigrants to turn themselves in to authorities. Mabe has condemned the death protest against illegal mining in Kagiso today and has denied inciting afrophobia.


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Kagiso Krugersdorp Zama ZamaZamas


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