Rival zama zama groups join forces to start battle against police

By Everson Luhanga

Two rival zama zama groups, who were found shooting at each other in Primrose, turned their gunfire on police officers on Tuesday. 

The rival groups stopped firing at each other, hugged, and united to attack their common “enemy” – the police. 

The rivals regrouped and started firing at the South African Police Service and the Johannesburg metro police officers. 

Officers returned fire, seriously injuring one. 

Eight zama zamas were arrested following the shootout with JMPD, SAPS, and other law enforcement agencies. 

One of the suspects has been taken to hospital after being wounded. The operation followed an early morning robbery on the M1 highway on Tuesday.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Xolani Fihla confirmed that eight male suspects were arrested with one of them sustaining serious injuries following an exchange of gunfire with the JMPD officers from the Tactical Response Unit at Main Reef Road and Shamrock Street, Primrose, Germiston.

Fihla said officials were responding to the alleged robbery of motorists by armed individuals on the Crown interchange at the M1 in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

“Officers followed up on a complaint of armed illegal miners at the intersection of Main Reef Road and Shamrock Street. As the officers arrived at the location they saw two groups of men shooting at each other,” said Fihla.

“When the suspects noticed the officers, they started shooting at the police and the officers returned fire. Amid the shootout, the officers saw a suspect fall to the ground, and backup was called.”

He said when the backup from SAPS Primrose, the Flying Squad, and the Airwing arrived, the officers went into the open veld where they found one male lying on the ground with a wound and a rifle next to him. A further seven suspects were arrested by the officers.

He said Gauteng Emergency Management Services attended to the injured suspect who was taken to Germiston Hospital for further treatment under police guard.

“All the arrested suspects, consisting of South African and Lesotho nationals, were detained at Primrose SAPS and charged with attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, and illegal mining,” Fihla added.

On Wednesday morning, there was high visibility of different police units along the M1 highway. 

Pictured above: The eight zama zamas arrested. 

Image source: Supplied


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