Krugersdorp ‘turf war’ shootout ‘a national issue’, say police

Zama zama exits mine with ore bearing reef.

Zama zama exits mine with ore bearing reef.

Residents reported hearing gunfire throughout Krugersdorp and Kagiso on Monday night, allegedly from a gun battle between a group of illegal miners and mine security.

From about 10pm on Monday night, gunshots could be heard all over Kagiso and Krugersdorp.

Reports indicate that a robbery took place at the mine next to the off-road dirt track, Dirt Bronco, where illegal miners and mine security workers were shooting at each other, reports Krugersdorp News.

The problems regarding the illegal miners have been increasing lately, and Krugersdorp police spokesperson Captain Raymond Sebonyane said this had become a national issue.

ALSO READ: Seven ‘zama-zamas’ nabbed with gold-bearing material in Welkom

Residents said the shooting continued for almost four hours and could be heard as far away as Noordheuwel.

Sharday van den Berg, the public relations officer for the Sector 4 Community Policing Forum, said they urged their patrollers and the residents in the Wentworth Park area to stay indoors and not investigate.

Krugersdorp News is awaiting feedback from police about the current state of the situation.

In October last year, reports indicated that 500 illegal miners had moved into the Makhulugama informal settlement just outside West Village. Since then, police have raided the area and arrested many people with illegal mining equipment, but the most shocking is the amount of ammunition and types of firearms they have found.

Last week, journalist Natasha Pretorius took this photo of a zama-zama or illegal miner standing guard near an illegal mine in Wentworth Park.

There have also been shootouts between the police and the illegal miners. Last month, they found two firearms that were linked to house robberies in Klerksdorp.

Residents say the shots that were fired during last night’s shootout sounded like automatic gunfire.

In a recent article in the Krugersdorp News, residents from Wentworth Park explained how these illegal miners have impacted their lives and safety.

Residents say they see men guarding the entrances to illegal mining tunnels next to the railway in Wentworth Park, and that the area is not safe for them anymore.

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