Benoni mass murders: Cops dig for clues over illegal miner deaths

The police’s Lungelo Dlamini says preliminary findings show that the men may have all been killed in the same way.

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JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng police say they are continuing their investigation into the murders of 14 suspected illegal miners in Benoni.

A passerby discovered the first six bodies, dumped in a pattern near a train station, on Sunday before a further eight were found by police a day later bringing the total number of victims to 14.

The police’s Lungelo Dlamini says preliminary findings show the men may have all been killed in the same way.

Dlamini has appealed to members of the public to provide the police with information as a matter of urgency.

“We’re appealing to anyone who might have information to contact the nearest police station or phone the Crime Line on 08600 10111 at all hours. All the information will be rewarded.”

He says Benoni has been plagued by illegal miner murders in the past. However, he can’t confirm whether this is the largest mass killing to date.

“We suspect that there might be illegal miners because they then engage in illegal activities in the area and in the past we’ve seen other people working in rival gangs.”

On Monday, illegal miners in the area told Eyewitness News that they heard gunshots at a nearby shaft on Sunday.

They warned that so-called rival zama zamas are armed and dangerous.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)