Freeman Razemba Court Reporter
Police in South Africa have recovered eight more bodies with gunshot wounds, which are also believed to be of illegal miners, near the area where the other six were found in an open veld next to a railway line in Benoni, Ekurhuleni on Sunday. According to South African Police Service (SAPS) website, the eight bodies were found on Monday.
In a statement, SAPS Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane condemned the senseless murder of these 14 people whose bodies were found over the past two days.
“Initially, police discovered six bodies with apparent gunshot wounds near a railway line on Sunday, 5 March 2017 following a tip-off from a member of the community. Today (Monday), eight more bodies were discovered in the same area.
“The discovery of these bodies comes at a time when generals from all levels within the South African Police Service have gathered for two days at a strategic session in Mpumalanga, deliberating on operational interventions and measures to further reduce the incidents of crime in affected areas of our country,” read part of the statement.
SAPS said among other issues, the proliferation of firearms in the country was under discussion, following the announcement made by the Minister of Police, Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, of a firearm amnesty period which begins on April 1.
“The Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange and her management team are overseeing the investigation into these murders. We will wait for the investigation to advance and the victims to be identified before speculating on a motive,” the Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said.
On Monday, South African police were investigating murder cases after six bodies, all with gunshot wounds and believed to be of illegal miners, were found in an open veld next to a railway line in Benoni.
There were fears that among the deceased were Zimbabweans as the area was known to be frequented by foreigners who engage in illegal mining.
According to Gauteng Police, a passer-by called police after he came across the bodies at about 9am on Sunday.
SAPS is still investigating the case and is in the process of identifying the bodies.
Police found that all the bodies had gunshot wounds on the upper body and it is suspected that the deceased were killed elsewhere and taken to where they were found as they were put in a pattern.
In 2015, South Africa emergency workers retrieved 11 bodies of Zimbabweans who were killed when a generator they were using in a disused underground mine exploded in Benoni, 35km outside Johannesburg, South Africa.