South Africa: Police Stop Violent Kagiso Residents’ Group From Hunting Down Zama Zamas

Tensions remain high in the township following the horrific rape of eight women in the area several days ago.

Unrest broke out in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg on Thursday after residents took to the streets, blocking all entry and exit points in the township. This follows the gang rape of eight women who were part of a crew shooting a music video, by men believed to be zama zamas [illegal miners] several days ago.

Angry residents in Kagiso claim zama zamas are to blame for the high crime rate in the area and started hunting them from early on Thursday morning, with reports of one dead.

Residents have accused the police of working together with criminals and said that crime in the area had gone on for far too long.

Tensions rose after residents were shot at with rubber bullets. The police fired tear gas and stun grenades from a police helicopter, which angered residents, who said the police had failed to intervene in apprehending the zama zamas.

Residents also demolished and burnt dwelling structures believed to belong to the zama zamas.

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