Krugersdorp Police Arrest Another 30 People After Attack and Rapes
Krugersdorp Police Arrest Another 30 People After Attack and Rapes. Photo: SA News

At least 30 more undocumented persons have been arrested in Krugersdorp, South Africa, following the horrific attack on a video production team and the gang rape of eight women last Thursday evening. (See Update at bottom of page.)

The latest arrests – bring the total number of suspect arrested to over 130, since the start of the province’s high level operations – led by Gauteng Police Commission, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela – last Friday.

According to Gauteng Police spokesperson, Brigadier Brenda Muridili, said: “The thirty undocumented persons will be processed by the established West Rand Processing Centre before appearing in the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court within 48 hours. They are facing charges related to the contravention of the Immigration Act.”

Operations in the area were increased following the gang rape last Thursday evening, near a disused mine close to the town.


krugersdorp mine rape
A police officer patrols near the scene of the rapes with the tailings of the long-abandoned mines in the background: CREDIT: Twitter

“The operations will be conducted continuously to ensure that the areas where illegal mining activities are prevalent are stabilised.

“[On Wednesday], the team went back to operate at the mining dump near the R28 road in Krugersdorp. They managed to remove plastic structures used by the illegal miners. Another group of members then followed up on information received from the community members as well as Crime Intelligence and raided houses where alleged illegal miners were hiding,” she said.

Residents of West Village, Krugersdorp, told Carte Blanche they have been living in fear for a few years, since illegal miners – known as Zama Zama – took over the abandoned mine. The programme, which was aired a year ago, exposed the ongoing warfare and danger the Zama Zama posed to the community.

Yet not enough was done by the police to stop the illegal activity… until last week when the situation made world headlines after eight models were gang-raped at gunpoint by a terrifying armed gang, as they shot a gospel video.

The Red Button production team were filming out in the wilds near West Village, Krugersdorp, when they were attacked.

The girls tried to run when the armed illegal miners burst out of the bush wearing blankets and balaclavas, but the gang fired a volley of gunshots at them.

The models and production crew (22 in all) were ordered to lay down and the gang whistled, and another 10 men in balaclavas appeared from the scrub as well.

As the gang systematically robbed the crew and girls of their mobile phones, rings, jewellery, handbags, cash and cameras the horrific rapes began.

The gang took one model at a time into the bush, while the robberies continued, and gang raped them up to ten times each before returning for another victim.

In all, eight models and crew were raped 32 times. The youngest victim is a now deeply traumatised 19-year-old model who was raped 10 times, and the eldest was 35.

When South African Police Services arrived at the scene a gunfight broke out and two illegal miners were shot dead and another injured, but 17 escaped.

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Police and army near the scene of the rapes and armed robbery: CREDIT: KossyDerrickent.com

Police also arrested 65 other illegal miners in the area for suspected immigration offences while launching a massive manhunt for the rape gang in the wilds.

The gold mines date back to 1887 when a rich seam was struck at Witwatersrand and the town of Krugersdorp sprung up into a boom town.

The horrific attack began at around 5pm last Thursday where the girls were finishing a music shoot at a deserted mine. But with many other illegal mines nearby, it’s believed the suspects were attracted by the sound of the music and donned balaclavas to brutally rape the girls one at a time.

There were 12 women and 10 men involved in the film shoot, and according to Police Minister Bhakti Cele it is believed all the models were from nearby Johannesburg, some from Alexandra, who had been hired for the day.

Brigadier Muridili said police recovered unlicensed firearms, explosives, and items that belonged to the victims during their operation.

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Illegal miner exits one of the highly dangerous shafts in which thousands risk their lives daily in the hope of finding gold missed when the original mines were closed down (not the mine where the rapes occured): Photo: Miningreview.com

Minister Cele said the women were immediately taken to hospitals or places of safety. He has since met with some of the victims and their families.

Their distraught parents were contacted to drive out and pick the girls up. Cele said: ”The operation is ongoing until all of the suspects are found and the response will be serious to show the state our protection of young women is clear.

The Minister said the models and crew had tried to run away but the armed men shot at them and forced them to lie down, before selecting a victim one at a time.

He said: ”One woman was raped ten times and another eight another six and so on. They were all robbed and all their stuff taken including their shoes and clothes.

“Even the men were stripped with many left naked or just their underpants on,” he said.

The Police Minister also caused outrage when he said that a woman raped by just one man was lucky, compared to those who were raped by 10 men. This week one resident was filmed chastising the Police Minister, revealing that similar gang rapes – sometimes 20 men on one woman, sometimes with young children witnessing them – have been ongoing before Thursday night.

Addressing concerns that the police haven’t done enough to curtail the illegal mining, the Minister said the police had conducted many successful operations in which they closed down operations at illegal mines where Zama Zamas were mainly digging for gold.

The Zama Zamas venture illegally onto old closed-down mines and burrow into the rock to try and find any gold that had been missed in what can be a lucrative operation.

But many die in collapsed tunnels or from in-fighting if one miner strikes it rich.

A resident of West Village in Krugersdorp, speaking to News24 on condition of anonymity to prevent reprisals, said that the attack did not come as any surprise.

She said: ”They have long terrorised residents and we hear gunshots at night. It’s not something new. It is an old and ongoing problem that petrifies us all.

“Women have previously been raped and dragged into the bush. The Zama Zama’s is an old problem, but now we’re at a place where it’s destructive and dangerous.”

The villager said the illegal miners fought among themselves for the unlawful ownership of the old mine and residents who used it for recreational and other purposes.

She added: ”There are lots of killings and fights between and they fight and kill each other. Each morning you see their bodies at the roadside. It will never stop”.

Brigadier Muridili explained that the current operation has been executed by a multi-disciplinary team with members emanating from the West Rand Crime Intelligence and Visible Policing, Public Order Police, National Intervention Unit, Tactical Response Team, K9 and Bidvest Protea Coin.

Air support for the ground forces was rendered by the SAPS, Fidelity and Tracker helicopters and drones.

She added that members of the community are encouraged to assist police in the arrests of criminals where they live.

“Members of the public are encouraged to report any knowledge of criminal activities in their communities by calling the SAPS Crime Stop toll free number 08600 10111 or to send tip-offs via MySAPS Application which can be downloaded on any smartphone. Information received will be treated with confidentiality and callers may remain anonymous,” Muridili said.

Ian Cameron, Community Safety Director of Action Society SA, tweeted: “The kingpins enriching themselves from #ZamaZamas need to be taken down. Otherwise all these arrests will be the same as rhino poachers, the next day someone else will replace the guy doing the dirty work underground/ on the ground.”

UPDATE – First Horrific Account of Brutal Gang Rape

The first horrific account of the brutal gang rape of eight models by an armed gang of illegal miners has been given by two of the young victims – both sisters and virgins.

The shocking crime that has rocked South Africa has sparked huge police raids which has seen 142 arrests as police force the miners out of their underground tunnels. but none have been linked to the gang rapes yet. However, it is believed all those arrested are being DNA tested to try and link them to the rapes.

South Africa has the third highest rape figures in the world with 150 reported a day but it is believed with outlying villages and terrified victims the real figure is much higher.

The value of the armed robbery has been estimated at £75,000.

The girls’ ordeal went on for four hours with some girls raped up to 10 times while the men in the crew were stripped naked and held at gunpoint throughout the ordeal.

The arrested miners have begun appearing before magistrates in Krugersdorp for illegal mining, illegal immigration, possession of explosives and firearms and attempted murder.

Police are looking for the men responsible for 32 rapes on 8 girls and armed robbery.

Two sisters aged 19 and 21 who were both virgins before accepting the R300 a day job to model in the gospel music video have given a shocking account to a local paper.

Using an assumed name “Nomboniso”, 19, said their virginity had been “stolen” when they were ambushed and feared for their lives at the hands of the heavily armed gang.

“Nomboniso” said they raped the black and Indian women on the film set repeatedly but left the three white women who were among the 22 strong production crew alone.

She told City Press:”We were excited when a local girl who runs a modelling agency told us about the photoshoot and promised us R300 each at a farm in Krugersdorp.

“Then it was decided to shoot another part at a mine and the place was beautiful then as we were about to film the last scene men began running at us firing gunshots in the air.

“They ordered everyone to lie down and more men came running out and they all had guns and they started searching us taking our phones and clothes and cameras.

“During the search they began touching our private parts and one forced me into a car and that was when the first man raped me. I started bleeding as a second man came.

“He saw the blood but raped me anyway and I asked him to tell the others not to rape me and had to lie and say I had just lost my baby as they picked us off one by one”.

“Nomboniso” said her sister, 21, was then put in the car and she sat on her lap to try and protect her but two men took her out the car and dragged her to a hole in the ground.

The older sister told City Press:”The two men started raping me.They had guns and threatened to kill me if I didn’t do as they said.I started bleeding and that helped me.

“It was a very traumatic experience which lasted about four hours for all the girls and one of the ladies was raped in front of us”.

Another victim, 18, told City Press she had taken the modelling job to buy food but was attacked at the shoot and was raped by two men who did not wear condoms.

She said she had been hiding in a tree for an hour but one of the rapists saw her and pushed her towards the other girls and was scared not knowing what was to happen.

The traumatised victim said:”They started picking us off one by one and took us to the nearby forest where they raped us and then four men picked me after the first two.

“I was only saved from them because they could see I was on my time of the month”.

The three girls told City Press that the older men were forcing the younger boys to rape them but after four hours when they were finished they decided to let them all go.

The mother, 45, of the two sisters told City Press: ”I was so hurt when I heard. For them to have their virginity stolen by men that they didn’t know is very hurtful.”

The woman whose modelling agency organised the group of eight girls to film rising star Malvery Martin’s music video said she offered herself to the gang to save the girls.

She said: ”The parents trust me and every time I go out they expect me to take care of their children.I was blaming myself if it wasn’t for me these girls wouldn’t be there.

“I felt responsible and wanted to take all the pain so that they wouldn’t touch the girls.

“The first person they raped was me and they took me into the bush and the second time to a hole where nobody could see us and the last time was in front of the group.

“The older men kept telling the younger boys to rape us and they’d hit them and force them to do so.The young boys would then take us one by one into the bushes.”

One woman from the production crew was raped in front of the group by the gang. In all there were 12 women and 10 men involved in the day long music video shoot.

The rape victim were aged between 18 and 37.

It is believed all the rape victims will be tested for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and are undergoing counselling and have returned to their families in Johannesburg.

Dr Shaheda Omar, director of clinical services is overseeing counselling at the Teddy Bear Clinic in Johannesburg, said: ”This is an important journey for all the victims.

“It won’t be easy as they have to relive what happened. They don’t need stigmatisation or information of what happened to them circulated as that opens them to humiliation.

“This is the time where they are feeling guilty and have a lot of unanswered questions.

“These girls now feel defenceless, hopeless and helpless. Through counselling, they will know who to reach out to when they experience moments of having flashbacks.

“Counselling will release them from the intense pain and deep wounds inflicted on them and help manage the deep psychological wounds that are not visible to the naked eye.”

DNA tests in South Africa can take up to a year but Police Minister Cele has ordered those taken from the women to be fast tracked to compare them with those arrested.

Happening today:

Sources include SAnews.gov.za, SAPS and Carte Blanche. To use any text or photos, please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd.