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Four Basotho illegal miners shot dead

FOUR Basotho illegal miners were shot dead at a disused gold mine in Randfontein, South Africa, last weekend. The four men are from the two villages of Ha-Chabeli and Ha-Mohohlo in Taung, Mohale’s Hoek.

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Chief Mokhele Chabeli told thepost this week that unidentified men had stormed the illegal mine on Saturday night and began firing shots, killing four while injuring several others.
Those who were injured were admitted at a local hospital in South Africa where they are in serious condition, he said.

“The deceased are young able-bodied men who had just married,” Chief Chabeli said.

Out of these four dead men, three had wives.
Chief Chabeli said they suspected the killings were linked to the illegal mining disputes in South Africa.

He said the fights in South Africa sometimes spill over into his village in Ha-Chabeli. They would be fighting over mining spots in South Africa.

“These people would sometimes tell me that I cannot mediate in their fights because I am not part of them,” he said.

Chief Chabeli said these famo gangsters were living together as a group in Randfontein but others left to stay in Matlatsane.
He said they did not know why others left to stay in isolation.

He said in January this year a fight broke out between gangsters in his area that left two dead.

“The fight went on for the whole night,” Chief Chabeli said.

“I do not know if what happened over the weekend is a continuation of what happened in January,” he said.

He said the fighting was only halted after security agencies were invited to the area.
He said villagers are live in fear in his village because of the constant fights among illegal miners.

What makes matters worse is that some gangsters from Ha-Chabeli belong to the same gang with those from Ha-Mohohlo and others from Ha-Mohohlo rally behind those from Ha-Chabeli in a rival gang.

Chief Chabeli said gangsters from his village used to fight with those from Kolo, Likhoele and Thabana-Morena but lately they fight among themselves.
He said they have done everything in their capacity to stop the fights but they are failing to control the situation.

He said the gangsters usually skip the country to hide in South Africa after committing crimes in the country.
The Taung MP, ’Matiisetso Matsie, said she has asked the Ministry of Police to build a police post in the area but she was turned down on grounds that funds were scarce.
Matsie was the area’s local government councillor before joining parliament in 2022.

“We have done everything in our power to restore peace and stability in this area but so far we have failed,” Matsie said.

She said they went as far as holding a prayer session in a desperate attempt to bring peace in the area but their efforts have so far failed.

Majara Molupe

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