Johannesburg – Gauteng police have launched a manhunt for suspects who stoned nine Lesotho nationals to death in Gauteng.
The suspects are of Lesotho origin, police said late on Friday.
The nine victims, who are illegal miners known loosely as ‘Zama Zamas’, were stoned to death in the Matholeville township, near Roodepoort, by their own peers – also of Lesotho origins.
Various policing units have been mobilised to hunt down the suspects.
Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said a tenth person was seriously injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
Police are investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.
“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,” said Kweza.
She said the bodies of the deceased were found lying on the streets.
“This attack was hardly 24 hours after Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela together with his team raided the place during operation O kae Molao.
“The suspects are now accusing the deceased of being involved in criminal activities which attract the police into their illegal mining operational space,” said Kweza.
Mawela said there was no excuse for murder and for the public to take the law into their own hands.
“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,” said Mawela.
Police are appealing to anyone with information regarding the attack to come forward and assist the police by calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111.