Kagiso residents have vowed to continue their search for zama zamas on Friday as they believe the illegal miners are still at large in the area and in their township.
Chaos reigned in the West Rand township on Thursday after hundreds of angry community members took to the streets to ‘deal’ with illegal miners who they claim are allegedly committing numerous crimes in the area.
After a day of violent protests, Kagiso residents blame poor policing for the high levels of crime in the township and are calling for increased visibility.
One person died during the shutdown and at least 20 people have been arrested.
Residents claim law enforcement has been lacking for too long in townships.
Many of the illegal miners are believed to be foreign nationals who are in the country unlawfully.
Speaking to eNCA, National Police Commissioner Tebello Mosikili says officers were overwhelmed in their efforts to stop violent protests in Kagiso.
She has assured residents there is a police presence in the area.
“As much as the community have indicated their frustration, which is understandable, we have been on the ground to try and calm the situation, to try an intervene where the communities have information to follow up.”
“That’s why you have seen from last week, this week again, there were eighty people [who] appeared at court, [who] were arrested with the assistance of the communities,” Mosikili said.
Meanwhile, Mogale City Mayor Tyrone Gray says some of the foreign nationals who are living in Kagiso legally are not zama zamas.
Gray has appealed to locals not to target people just because they are foreign nationals and suspected to be zama zamas operating illegally at abandoned mines in the area.
The volatile protest in Kagiso comes after the horrific news of eight women who were gang raped in Krugersdorp last week.