Motorists advised to avoid Kagiso at all costs - GP traffic police

Residents have blocked roads with burning tyres and rocks.

FILE: Tensions remain high on Gauteng's West Rand. Picture: Xanderleigh Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - More Kagiso residents joined community protests on Gauteng's West Rand on Thursday. Residents have taken to the streets, to search for illegal miners.

The demonstrations follow last week's news that 8 women were gang-raped in Krugersdorp. Several suspects have already appeared in court in connection with the crimes.

There was a heavy police presence on Thursday, as hundreds of residents were out on the streets of Kagiso. The crowd gathered opposite the Soul City informal settlement where they believed most of the Zama Zama operators live.

Two helicopters monitored the situation from the air. Earlier on Thursday, fires on a number of shacks were extinguished, after protestors set them alight. Community members said they set a specific house alight because that was where stolen items, as well as equipment for burning minerals, was found. The crowd also made its way to a nearby mining dump where they said more Zama Zama’s were camped.

Gauteng traffic police have urged motorists to avoid Kagiso at all costs as tension remain high in the West Rand community. At least one person has been killed.

Residents have blocked roads with burning tyres and rocks, forcing police to divert traffic. Gauteng Traffic police spokesperson Obed Sibasa said while some routes have been cleared, the situation remained volatile.

“Entering and exiting Kagiso is a nightmare. Motorists are advised to avoid Kagiso at all costs. Your alternatives from Deep Soweto, or from Krugersdorp to Deep Soweto are Emdeni link or Doornkop road, through Dobsonville to Elias Motsoaledi through Main Reef road to Ontdekkers to Krugersdorp or other parts of Mogale City and visa versa,” said Sibasa.