Gauteng police operation nets firearm near Freedom Park mass murder scene

The bodies were found with gunshot wounds beside the Golden Highway near Freedom Park. Police have confirmed that the victims were involved in copper cable theft when they were killed.

Gauteng Commissioner Elias Mawela visited the Maseru informal settlement between Pimville and Orlando East, Soweto on 20 January 2022 following the discovery of five bodies in Freedom Park, Lapland on 19 January 2022. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - A firearm has been found at the Lapland dumping site near the location where five bodies were discovered on Wednesday.

The bodies were found with gunshot wounds beside the Golden Highway near Freedom Park.

Police have confirmed that the victims were involved in copper cable theft when they were killed.

The search operation under Operation Okae Molao started at the Maseru informal settlement between Orlando East and Pimville in Soweto, where police understand that many cable thieves and those involved in violent crimes live.

Gauteng Commissioner Elias Mawela said that he had received intelligence that the criminals behind the murder of the five people discovered in Lapland may be living in this informal settlement.

He said that the murders seemed to have been committed as part of some kind of a turf war between gangs that steal copper cables and sell them.

So far, three foreign nationals have also been arrested for not having documentation and one man has also been apprehended for being in possession of a piece of the train railway.