South African Police Service (SAPS) officers on Monday arrested 15 suspected illegal miners who were found with gold-bearing dust and tools believed to be used for illegal mining in Roodepoort, western Johannesburg.

According to a statement released by the SAPS, during operations to stop illegal mining taking place in Sol Plaaitjie, police spotted a suspicious BMW. The officers examined the car and found gold-bearing dust.

Also, two foreign citizens without documents were detained on the spot.

Also read: Society on fire rampage against Zama Zamas as leaders engage in politics

“Furthermore, the police arrested thirteen undocumented foreign nationals suspected of involvement in illegal mining after they were found with several tools and materials suspected to be used for illegal mining. The suspects are expected to appear before the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court soon,” the report said.

Last week, Police Minister Bheki Chele held an Imbizo where he told residents in the west of Johannesburg that he would “wash away” the zama zamas.

Chele started Imbizo in West Village, Krugersdorp, following recent protests against crime and illegal mining.

During the meeting, both Chele and Police Commissioner Fani Masemola informed Kagiso residents that a request would be made for the intervention of the South African National Defense Force. Meanwhile, specialist Saps units have been deployed to the West Rand since Monday last week.

Also read: Military conscription not answer for SA’s crime-ridden areas

Outrage and numerous special operations are linked to the gang rape of eight women who were filming a music video in Krugersdorp.

Eighty-four suspects have since been arrested. They appeared in Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court last week.

Of the 84 suspects, 21 are minors, their cases have been transferred to the Children’s Court.

They are charged with illegal mining, violation of Section 49 of the Immigration Act, illegal use of explosives and firearms and possible attempted murder.

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