JOHANNESBURG (AP) — More than 80 men appeared in court on Monday accused of the gang rape of eight women and the armed robbery of a video production crew in the South African town of Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.
A man was arrested at an abandoned mine site after being raped and robbed near a disused mine.
The suspect is said to be an illegal miner known as Zamazama, who digs for gold in many closed mine shafts in the Johannesburg area. According to local reports, many of the illegal miners are foreigners. Locals say the Zamazama gang of illegal miners are also responsible for the crime that is rampant in the area.
The gang-rape occurred last Thursday when armed men attacked a crew member filming a music video at one of the abandoned mines, police said.
“The crew of 22, 12 women and 10 men, were busy filming a music video when they were attacked by a group of armed men dressed in blankets,” said Gauteng police chief Elias. Lieutenant General Mawela said in a statement.
“The suspect ordered everyone to lie down, raped eight women, took everyone’s belongings and fled,” he said. Police are investigating 32 rape cases, he said.
Laboratory studies of DNA samples from raped women will be used to identify the perpetrators of the rapes, National Police Minister Beki Sele said on Monday.
Others arrested are expected to face additional charges of illegal immigration and illegal mining.
More than 300 people demonstrated outside the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday to express community outrage over the rape.
News of gang rapes and robberies has angered communities and women’s groups in the area, complaining that such incidents are rampant around Krugersdorp.
“The community has reported many crimes committed by Zamazama but nothing has been done and we will demand that the police station be brought under control” against illegal immigrants in South Africa. was part of Monday’s protests outside the
“They should be brought under control as it is clear that they have not been able to deal with crime in this area,” Dabra said.