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After 7 bodies found on N12, SAPS, DMR to team up to curb illegal mining

National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said they had deployed high-risk forces in areas known to be rife with illegal mining.

FILE: Mining equipment confiscated by the police from illegal miners arrested near Secunda. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said that they would be working with the Department of Mineral Resources to curb incidents of illegal mining.

On Thursday, seven bodies of men believed to be zama-zamas were found dumped near the N12 freeway at the Putfontein off-ramp in Ekurhuleni.

No arrests have been yet.

The bodies were found with gunshot wounds to the upper body, with one victim burned beyond recognition.

They were spotted in an area known for illegal mining.

There has been speculation that the deceased were illegal miners but officials could not confirm this.

Police were still trying to identify the bodies.

Speaking to the SABC, General Sitole said they had deployed high-risk forces in areas known to be rife with illegal mining.

"We've got serious interventions where we've deployed our high-risk forces which is the task force, the NIU as well as the TRT in those mining hotspot areas to stabilise the situation. That is the high density policing approach that we've adopted."

There had previously been alleged incidents of infighting between illegal miners in the area of Ekurhuleni.

In 2014, 14 illegal miners were found dead in Benoni.

Two years later, other men were found dead at a disused mine in Langlaagte in what was suspected to be gang fights between illegal miners.