Police keep watch on Kagiso after raids, protests

Police presence remained heavy on Thursday evening, as demonstrators slowly returned to their homes, after a day of raids and a manhunt a for illegal miners also referred to as Zama Zamas.

FILE: Bushes and the surroundings of the mining dumps set alight by protestors, were still burning on Thursday evening. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Calm has returned to parts of Kagiso on the West Rand of Gauteng, following a day of violent protest. Enraged community members have been demonstrating illegal mining and crime in the area.

Police presence remained heavy on Thursday evening, as demonstrators slowly returned to their homes, after a day of raids, and a manhunt for illegal miners also referred to as Zama Zamas.

The march started just before dawn and several suspected zama zamas are believed to have been handed over to police by residents. As the sun set, the crowd started getting smaller, however police officers could still be seen with several cars parked close to Soul City Informal Settlement.

A number of roads have been cleared of the stones and burnt tyres however. Motorists have also been experiencing some obstruction, especially when making their way to Nqobile, Soul City, and Extension 8.

Bushes and the surroundings of the mining dumps set alight by protestors, were still burning on Thursday evening.

The community has complained that police are not taking the issue of crime and Zama Zamas seriously. Some say the fact that police are protecting illegal miners, is the reason that they have taken the matters into their own hands.

Some homes were raided as the demonstrating residents searched for illegal miners. It remains unclear whether the Kagiso shutdown will continue on Friday.