Police: 21 bodies found at mine in South Africa

Nov 3, 2022, 2:01 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
South African police investigate at the scene where more than 20 bodies, suspected of being illegal...

South African police investigate at the scene where more than 20 bodies, suspected of being illegal miners, were found near an active mine in Krugersdorp, South Africa, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. Police suspect that the bodies were moved to where they were found at a privately-owned mine. The grim discovery is the latest in a series of incidents related to illegal mining in the Krugersdorp area. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police are investigating the discovery of at least 21 bodies suspected of being illegal miners that were found near an active mine in the town of Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

According to police, 19 bodies were discovered on Wednesday afternoon and two more were discovered on Thursday morning. Police said they suspect that the bodies were moved to the location where they were found, which is a privately-owned mine.

“We can confirm that this morning our search and rescue team went back to the scene and, as they were searching, they discovered two more bodies. They retrieved them from an open (mine) shaft,” police spokeswoman Brenda Muridili said Thursday.

Muridili said evidence found on the scene suggested the people did not die where their bodies were found but “no foul play” was suspected. The bodies would undergo autopsies, she said.

The Sowetan newspaper reported that the bodies were those of illegal miners who died when a tunnel at a different mine collapsed, although police declined to confirm that before the results of the autopsies. The Sowetan, quoting an unnamed illegal miner, said the bodies were moved so police wouldn’t find where the illegal mining was taking place.

The grim discovery is the latest in a series of incidents related to illegal mining in the Krugersdorp area. In July, eight female members of a film crew were raped and robbed at an abandoned mine in the area, where they were working on a music video shoot. The incident sparked violent protests against illegal miners in surrounding communities.

Last week, rape and robbery charges against 14 men, who are also suspected of being illegal miners, were withdrawn after police couldn’t link them to the rapes through DNA evidence. The men were arrested during police raids on the abandoned mine where the rapes took place.

Illegal mining is rife in South Africa, with miners known locally as “zama zamas” searching for gold at the many disused and abandoned mines in and around the Johannesburg region. Krugersdorp is a mining town on the western edge of Johannesburg.

Illegal mining gangs are considered dangerous by the police, are usually armed and are known to fight violent turf battles with rival groups. The trade is believed to be dominated by immigrants who enter illegally from neighboring countries Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The 14 men who had rape and robbery charges against them dropped are accused of being in South Africa illegally and have been charged with immigration offenses.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York, on Dec. 20, 2018. Embattled vaping ...
Associated Press

Juul reaches settlements covering more than 5,000 cases

Juul Labs has reached settlements covering more than 5,000 cases brought by about 10,000 plaintiffs related to its vaping products. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Juul said that it has secured an equity investment to fund it. Buffeted by lawsuits, Juul announced hundreds of layoffs last month and bankruptcy appeared increasingly […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: Dec. 5 The Washington Post on microchips, the U.S. and the future When President Biden visits a microchip factory under construction in Arizona, it might look like a political victory lap: The factory will bring $12 billion and thousands of jobs to an important swing […]
6 hours ago
FILE - Local residents gather near a generator to charge their mobile devices in an area controlled...
Associated Press

Donors race to get generators, other aid to hard-hit Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — When Russian forces launched a military campaign against infrastructure in Ukraine nearly two months ago, they opened a front that carried the war along power lines, water mains and heating systems to homes, schools, offices and churches. The government in Kyiv and the Western countries that have backed it with billions […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Co-buying a house: How platonic partners make it work

Seven years ago, Phil Levin and his girlfriend, Kristen Berman, pondered a common question: Should we move in together? Levin assumed they’d take a predictable path and find a more affordable apartment outside of pricey San Francisco. But Berman, a behavioral scientist, shared her reservations about leaving their friend network – and some facts to […]
6 hours ago
FILE -  Visitors passing an advertisement for the video game 'Call of Duty' at the Gamescom fair fo...
Associated Press

Microsoft strikes 10-year deal with Nintendo on Call of Duty

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft said Wednesday that it struck a deal to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years when its $69 billion purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard goes through — an apparent attempt to fend off objections from rival Sony. The blockbuster merger is facing close […]
6 hours ago
This photo provided by Toyota shows the Lexus RX 350, a midsize luxury SUV that has been fully rede...
Associated Press

Edmunds: 2023 Lexus RX 350 versus 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE

The Lexus RX 350 has consistently been one of the best-selling midsize SUVs and a leading model for the Lexus brand. So when a new RX is released, there’s understandably a lot of interest from SUV shoppers. The redesigned 2023 RX 350 gets a new engine, improved technology and a more luxurious interior. But is […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Police: 21 bodies found at mine in South Africa