70 illegal miners arrested in Welkom

Authorities say the miners were trying to escape from underground when they were cornered by officials.

FILE: The miners were apprehended following a tip-off from mine security who spotted the zama zamas coming out from underground at the Eland Mine in Welkom yesterday. Picture: Screengrab/CNN.

JOHANNESBURG - Seventy illegal miners have been arrested in the Free State.

The miners were apprehended following a tip-off from the mine security officials who spotted the zama zamas coming out from underground at the Eland Mine in Welkom yesterday.

Authorities say the miners were trying to escape from underground when they were cornered by officials.

The police's Stephen Thakeng says the men will appear in court on Monday.

"Zama zamas were arrested at a Mine Eland shaft of Harmony [Gold] in Welkom yesterday. At this stage we can confirm that they are from Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe."