‘Residents should report Zama Zamas to authorities’

Men believed to be illegal miners tried to escape during a visit by the Community Safety MEC yesterday.

An open veld believed to be a "factory" for the Zama Zamas. Slabs used for welding. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says while arrests were made during her visits to illegal mining hotspots, she's disappointed that residents never report so called Zama Zamas to authorities.

Men believed to be illegal miners tried to escape during a visit by the MEC in Matholeville on the West Rand on Monday.

Nkosi-Malobane, accompanied by police, visited the hotspots in the area before going to the Durban Deep and Sol Plaatjies mining areas in Roodepoort.

An unknown group of men ran away from authorities just as Nkosi-Malobane was about to leave her first shack in Matholeville.

The police's André Lange says two arrests were made; the first being a woman believed to be harbouring both tools for illegal mining and Zama Zamas.

"We found the cutting torch and the things they burn the gold in."

He says a second man has been arrested after trying to run away.

"They ran over Randfontein Road, where we arrested one of them."

Nkosi-Malobane says more arrests will be made as investigations continue.