South Africa: Eight Illegal Miners Die After Rainfall Blocks Shaft

Eight alleged illegal miners have been killed after getting trapped inside an underground mine shaft in the village of Maroga outside Burgersfort.

The men entered the shaft on Friday to dig for chrome. Whilst in the mine, heavy rains swept soil into the entrance, blocking their only exit.

The men are believed to have suffocated shortly after the entrance was blocked but police are conducting a post-mortem to confirm the cause of death.

Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the bodies of one South African, four Zimbabweans and three Mozambicans were retrieved on Saturday night.

"When we arrived at the scene, we found locals had already dug a hole to retrieve the bodies," said Brigadier Mojapelo.

On Thursday, the South African Weather Services issued a warning of disruptive rainfall in Limpopo.

The weather institution had instructed people to stay indoors and avoid low-lying areas.

Limpopo's police commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel Thembi Hadebe, told Scrolla.Africa that they have established a team which deals with illegal mining in the province.

She also stated that they would issue charges against the seven deceased foreigners as they were in the country illegally and a case of illegal mining will be registered against all of them.

Hadebe said it is normal police procedure to charge suspects for crimes, regardless of whether they are alive.

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