1 minute read
16 Jun 2021
10:05 am

Bodies of 20 suspected illegal miners found in North West


Police said it was not yet clear if the deceased were illegal miners, but that it was suspected to be the case. 

Police suspect the bodies to be those of illegal miners. Photo for illustration only: iStock

The bodies of twenty people, believed to be illegal miners, were found in Orkney, North West throughout this week. 

Police opened inquest dockets after 20 unidentified male bodies were found at two various locations in Orkney outside Klerksdorp on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said in a statement that while the deceased suffered severe body burns, post-mortems would be conducted to determine a cause of death for the men whose bodies were found wrapped in white plastic bags.

“Investigation into the matter continues and it includes the possibility of linking the incident with the video that was circulated on social media platforms wherein a man calling himself “Mafifi” was seen pleading for assistance following an apparent smoke inhalation occurrence at shaft number six,” said Mokgwabone.

The police have requested anyone who may have information regarding the incident to contact Crime Stop number (08600 10111).

Crime reporter Yusuf Abramjee said on social media that police confirmed the grisly discovery, and that investigations were underway. 

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone told The Citizen it was not yet clear if the deceased were illegal miners, but that it was suspected to be the case.

“We have opened inquests for investigation. The identity of the bodies is still unknown.”

Zandspruit mob justice 

In May, a large mob attacked nine young men, tying their hands with wires and ropes, assaulting them and dousing them with paraffin before setting them alight. 

Eight of the nine men died, and six suspects have since been arrested. Two people are still wanted in connection with the attacks. 

It was said the men were being accused of committing various crimes in the area.