Bodies of 5 illegal miners found at Grootvlei Mine

It’s the same area where 15 people were killed in clashes between zama zamas earlier this month.

The bodies of five people believed to be illegal miners was found in a field near Grootvlei Mine. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The bodies of five people believed to be illegal miners was found in a field near Grootvlei Mine in Springs East of Johannesburg.

It's the same area where 15 people were killed in clashes between zama zamas earlier this month.

The deceased were found with bullet wounds, prompting suspicions that their deaths were gang-related.

The mine has been overrun by illegal miners since its takeover by Aurora Empowerment Systems.

The police's Tsekiso Mofokeng said, "We perceive that there are two groups fighting over territory. We're appealing to the community for assistance."

In a separate incident, 11 bodies of illegal miners are believed to be trapped in a shaft where they suffocated in Benoni.

Officials say they've only identified three bodies which they can't remove due to rock fall underground.

Officials have urged illegal miners to stop excavation at abandoned mines, and have called for obsolete mining shafts to be sealed off.