Week Of Anger, Clashes In South Africa Following Gang Rape Arrests

Illegal mining is rife in South Africa, with artisinal  miners - zama-zamas - searching for gold at disused mines in and around Johannesburg By Mogomotsi Magome KRUGERSDORP, South Africa  — Protesters in the South African city of Krugersdorp beat suspected illegal miners with sticks and set fire to their camps Thursday following the arrests of more than 80 men, some thought to be miners, in connection with the gang rapes of eight women last week. Residents of Krugersdorp’s Kagiso township also barricaded roads with rocks and burning tires during a protest against the presence of the miners. They said they were frustrated with high levels of crime that they blame on the illegal miners and the alleged failure of police to deal with them. Some suspected illegal miners were stripped of their clothes and whipped by residents, who also chased others out of their camps and beat and kicked them before handing them over to police. Police responded by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the protesters, who also clashed with police officers.

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