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SA police probe mass murders

Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
South African police have set up a team of detectives to investigate the killing of 14 illegal miners, some suspected to be Zimbabwean, who were recently shot dead in Benoni, about 20 kilometres outside Johannesburg. It is suspected that the murders were as a result of vicious fights over gold. Six bodies were found on March 5, while the other eight bodies were discovered the following day near Golden Drive and New Modder Road.

According to media reports, at least three Zimbabweans are suspected to be part of the 14 illegal miners killed.

Police in Gauteng this week said investigations showed the victims were either stabbed to death or shot.

The police in the neighbouring country are still appealing to anyone with information that might assist them in conducting their investigations.

Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane recently condemned the senseless murder of the 14.

There were fears that among the deceased were Zimbabweans, as the area was known to be frequented by foreigners who engaged in illegal mining.

According to Gauteng police, a passer-by called police after he came across 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 Johan- nesburg.

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