Bodies of seven suspected illegal miners found in Benoni

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The bodies of seven people‚ suspected to be illegal miners‚ were discovered in an open veld near a mine shaft in Benoni‚ east of Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

“It is suspected that they all have been shot and killed somewhere and the bodies later dumped. Police have opened murder cases for investigation‚” police spokesman Col Lungelo Dlamini said.

He said police were informed by a member of the public who saw the bodies in an open veld.

Dlamini said the bodies were already in a state of decomposition.

“They might have been dumped two or three days before they were found. The bodies are suspected to be of foreign nationals who are involved in illegal mining in the area although they have not yet been identified‚” Dlamini said.

In March last year‚ a total of 14 bodies of suspected illegal miners were found in two separate locations in Benoni.

A passer-by discovered the bodies of six suspected illegal miners near a railway station in Benoni.

Police at the time said they suspected the men‚ who were shot in their chests and heads‚ were murdered elsewhere and their bodies dumped next to Van Ryn railway station.

Another eight bodies‚ also suspected to be those of illegal miners‚ were found in Unity Street‚ 5km away from the station.

Police said the motive for the murder of those dumped at Unity Street might be linked to rival gangs involved in illegal mining.

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