Cape Town – A teenager and an alleged illegal miner were wounded during a shootout with the police in Florida, west of Johannesburg on Monday evening.
The incident is being investigated as two counts of attempted murder.
West Rand. “Zama Zamas” shooting. pic.twitter.com/DMK2GWgK1I
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) September 4, 2023
The clash occurred when police responded to a complaint of shooting and encountered a shootout between two groups of alleged illegal miners, known as “zama zamas”, News24 reported.
“Upon noticing the police, the groups started shooting at the police, who returned fire at the alleged zama zamas.”
“One zama zama was shot and wounded and a 17-year-old was also wounded during the crossfire. Both were taken to hospital for medical attention,” the report quoted Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi as saying.
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take decisive action against illegal miners in the province, requesting the deployment of the state’s security forces to address the issue.
[WATCH] “We are under siege from zama zamas. President, bring the fire power of the state, whether it is the army or the police.'”- ANC Gauteng chairperson Panyaza Lesufi calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to send in the army to deal with illegal miners. #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/2hEQmGsGkd
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) September 3, 2023
Lesufi made this plea during the ANC election manifesto review, highlighting the growing problem of illegal mining in the region.
“We are under siege from amazama zamas [illegal miners] in our province, we are under siege from criminals in our province. Please comrade president, bring the firepower of the state, whether it is the army or police, they must go down there and flush them out until the last person is standing,” Lesufi said.
He emphasized the need for a stronger security cluster response to tackle this crisis, citing recent incidents of violence among illegal miners that have left the community in fear.