In response to a deadly clash between rival zama zama gangs that claimed at least five lives in Riverlea, authorities have taken action. More than 20 undocumented foreign nationals, suspected to be involved in illegal mining activities, were arrested in the area on Wednesday. Police Minister Bheki Cele led a delegation of senior officers to assess the situation and address the community’s concerns about illegal mining and escalating crime challenges in the region.
In a bid to tackle the problem, police deployed various tactical units to conduct search-and-seizure operations in Riverlea. The community, gripped with fear after the recent spate of violent shootings, had taken to the streets on Monday, demanding government intervention.
During the operations, police confiscated items used in the illegal gold refining process, including empty gas cylinders, gas bottles, and gold dust. The authorities have been engaging with residents in the Zamimpilo Informal Settlement to address the pressing issues at hand.
Earlier, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area and made promises of deploying police forces within 24 hours to restore peace and order. However, some residents expressed concerns that his statements may have tipped off the zama zama gangs, giving them time to hide their weapons and evade capture.