- SA police launch manhunt for the killers
NINE Lesotho nationals were stoned to death by suspected fellow Basotho in Johannesburg, South Africa in the latest wave of violence among illegal miners commonly known as the Zama-Zamas.
The discovery of the nine bodies in the Roodepoort area of Johannesburg on Friday has resulted in the South African Police Service (SAPS) launched a manhunt for the killers, the Sunday Express has learnt.
The nine were stoned to death in the Matholeville township, near Roodepoort, allegedly by fellow illegal miners of Lesotho origins. South Africa media reports quoted Gauteng Police Spokesperson, Colonel Noxolo Kweza, as saying said a tenth person was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
Various policing units have been mobilised to hunt down the suspects.
“Gauteng police are investigating murder and attempted cases after nine Lesotho nationals who were involved in illegal mining were stoned to death at Matholeville, Roodepoort this afternoon allegedly by their fellow Zama-Zamas of Lesotho origin,” Colonel Kweza said, adding the bodies of the deceased were found lying on the streets.
“We condemn this barbaric attack and we will ensure we leave no stone unturned in making the people of Matholeville and Roodepoort to feel safe. The suspects will be arrested as soon as possible and the police will not sleep until we find them,” added Colonel Mawela.
On his part, Lesotho Police Spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said they had not received any official communication from their South African counterparts on the murders or the subsequent investigations. Supt Mpiti then referred all the questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Lesego Makgothi, was not reachable on his mobile phone for comment.
However, a senior government official told this publication that the LMPS have joined their South African counterparts in the manhunt for the suspects.
“We cannot comment further on the matter because of its sensitivity. Talking about it now could jeopardise the operation,” the government official said yesterday.