A total of 82 men, suspected to be illegal foreigners from Lesotho, have been arrested after the gang rape of 8 women in Krugersdorp, South Africa – an incident which has shocked and angered many in the country.
Ordinary South Africans, high ranking politicians have expressed shock and anger at the brutal attack on the eight women, who were part of a crew recording a music video on a mine dump in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg. The male members of the crew were robbed of valuables in excess of R1 million rand.
There are fears within the immigrant community in SA that the gang rape incident and the arrest of 82 Basotho men suspected of being illegal in the country, could spark renewed xenophobic clashes.
The first 67 of the 82 suspects were arrested after a massive manhunt by the South African Police. The rest were arrested on Saturday morning. The suspects have been charged with violating the SA’s Immigration Act and are expected to be subjected to DNA tests to determine the perpetrators of the rapes.
According to a SA police spokesperson two men were fatally shot after they allegedly pointed firearms at police. The police said another man, who was shot and wounded, was taken to hospital.
SA President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed horror at the incident and said two days ago that he had instructed the police to act swiftly.
“We just heard of the horrible incident where a number of women in our country were abused. We have directed the minister of police and law enforcement agencies to immediately embark on this to make sure that the perpetrators of this crime are apprehended and dealt with,” Ramaphosa said.
Social media in South Africa has been awash, for months, with videos of heavily armed suspected illegal immigrants from Lesotho said by locals to be the kingpins of illegal mining on the SA’s West Rand. Fingers have also been pointed at them in connection with chronic cable theft in and around Gauteng, the economic capital of SA.