By Thys Khiba
Orkney – The North West Provincial Spokesperson for South African Police Service (SAPS), Sabata Mokgwabone confirmed that police opened inquest dockets after 20 unidentified male bodies were on Tuesday, 15 June 2021 and Wednesday, 16 June 2021, found in Orkney outside Klerksdorp.
It is alleged that the deceased are illegal miners known as ‘zama zamas’ operating in obselete shafts in Orkney and Stilfontein.
This is after 20 burnt bodies linked to ‘Zama-zamas’ operations were found near two ventilation shafts at Lawrence Park and Ariston Road on Tuesday.
According to the mine manager of China Africa Precious Metal, Isaac Tshabalala, more illegal miners could’ve died in an unconfirmed explosion at a mine near Orkney.
“The first five decomposed bodies were found at approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, outside an old and unused mine shaft ventilation in Lawrence Park, Orkney,” said Mokgwabone.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, 16 June 2021, 14 more decomposed bodies were found along Ariston Road near the railway line in Orkney.
Mokgwabone said while they were still processing the scene, they received information that another body was discovered where the initial five bodies were found, thus bringing a total number to 20.
“Futhermore, the deceased suffered severe body burns. As part of investigations, post-mortems will be conducted to determine a cause of death for these men whose bodies were found wrapped in white plastic bags,” said Mokgwabone.
Makgwabone confirmed an investigation into the matter continues and members of the public who may have information regarding the incident are requested to call Colonel Gaanakgomo on 082 568 5975 or SAPS Crime Stop number: 08600 10111.
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