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AFP
February 2, 2020

Nine illegal miners killed by rival workers in S Africa

AFP
February 2, 2020

JOHANNESBURG: Nine illegal miners from Lesotho were stoned to death by suspected rival workers in a western district of Johannesburg, South African police said on Saturday, denouncing the “barbaric act”. Officers launched a manhunt and said they had questioned dozens of people in connection with the incident in Matholeville. The bodies of nine victims “were found lying in the streets of Matholeville” and a tenth person was seriously hurt in the violence on Friday, the police said in a statement. The main suspects are also illegal miners from Lesotho, a tiny kingdom surrounded by South Africa, police said. Thousands of illegal miners, known as “zama-zamas” — which means “those who try their luck” in Zulu — operate in the country, according to the South African Human Rights Commission. Violent clashes between rival groups of workers are relatively common. South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world — more than 21,000 people were killed between April 2018 and March 2019, an average of 58 murders a day, according to government data.