Emelia Motsai
1 minute read
26 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Illegal miners report to hospitals for treatment to their wounds

Emelia Motsai

Illegal miners who survived a shooting ordeal on the East Rand over the weekend are reportedly going to hospitals to be treated for gunshot wounds, police said yesterday.

Police photographers board helicopter to surveys the large area that is the Benoni mine, 25 June 2014, in search of openings and air vents where illegeal miners have been found dead. Picture: Valentina Nicol

Colonel Lungelo Dlamini from the South African Police Service said they have received reports that some illegal miners who survived a shooting spree at an abandoned gold mine in Benoni, are reporting to hospitals to be treated.

After the incident, only one survivor came forward.

Dlamini said he did not yet know how many survivors there were or which hospitals they were reporting to.

The bodies of 10 illegal miners have been found in and around an abandoned mine in Benoni west of Johannesburg in the past five days.

Yesterday police scouted the area around the mine with a helicopter and sniffer dogs trying to find more bodies, survivors or clues. A source who works closely with the investigating team said there was “definitely another body underground”.

The first eight bodies were found over the weekend, six in an open area close to the mine and two underground.

The ninth body was found on Monday night and the 10th body on Tuesday afternoon, the former in an open area next to the mine and the latter underground.

Police said earlier all 10 illegal miners were found with bullet wounds in their upper bodies. Dlamini said post-mortem results would reveal whether they were shot with the same gun. Spent cartridges for a 9mm handgun were found at the scene.

Dlamini said police had identified one miner. He was a Mozambican official. No arrests have been made yet.

Community members suspect that the miners were executed by a rival gang.