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Eight models were gang raped at gunpoint by an armed gang as they shot a gospel music video near an illegal gold mine in South Africa.
The shocking crime took place while the a production team were filming out in the wilds near West Village, Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg on July 28.
The models and crew were raped up to ten times each, with the youngest victim a 19-year-old raped ten times and the eldest being 37.
The gang also systematically robbed the crew and girls of their mobile phones, rings, jewellery, handbags, cash and cameras.
The incident has shocked South Africa, which has some of the highest crime rates and the third highest rate of rape in the world, and renewed calls for chemical castration of convicted rapists.
Police made mass arrests of illegal miners in the area after a shootout that killed two.
Eighty-two illegal miners are expected to appear in court today on suspicion of illegal mining, attempted murder, possession of explosives and contravening immigration laws.
Eight models were gang raped at gunpoint by an armed gang as they shot a gospel music video near an illegal gold mine in South Africa
South African Police Services killed two illegal miners in a shootout and another injured but 17 escaped. Police also arrested 65 other illegal miners in the area for suspected immigration offences while launching a massive manhunt for the rape gang in the wilds
The shocking crime took place while the a production team were filming out in the wilds near West Village, Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg on July 28
It is thought that some of them are responsible for the gang rape that took place at the illegal mine on Thursday.
There are many other illegal mines in the location where the crime took place and it is thought that the sound of the music attracted the attentions of illegal miners.
There were 12 women and 10 men involved in the film shoot and it is believed all the models were from nearby Johannesburg who had been hired for the day.
The girls tried to run when attackers burst out of the bush wearing balaclavas and Basotho blankets but the gang fired a volley of gunshots at them.
The models and production crew were ordered to lay down and the gang whistled and another ten men in balaclavas appeared from the scrub as well.
The gang took the models one at a time into the bush while the robberies continued and gang raped them up to ten times each before returning for another victim.
When South African Police Services arrived at the scene a gunfight broke out and two illegal miners were shot dead and another injured but 17 escaped.
Police also arrested 65 other illegal miners in the area for suspected immigration offences while launching a massive manhunt for the rape gang in the wilds.
A 19-year-old victim related how she lied to her attacker that she had suffered a miscarriage to be saved from being raped further, the Sunday Times South Africa report.
‘I had no way out but to lie, because they were picking us up one by one. There were others who were raped by six to 10 men,’ she said.
Her 21-year-old sister, who was raped in a ditch, said the girls’ ordeal lasted four hours.
The woman who had organised the models for the shoot said that she tried to protect them from the rapists and she was violated first.
‘They kept telling the younger boys to rape us and they’d hit them and force them to do so,’ she said.
Questions still remain about the incident, with a source telling the Sunday Times that police did not believe the crew and models were there to make a music video as has been reported.
The gold mines date back to 1887 when a rich seam was struck at Witwatersrand and the town of Krugersdorp where West Village sprung up into a boom town.
Police spokesman Brigadier Brenda Muridil confirmed 65 potential suspects had been arrested by Friday evening for contravention of the Immigration Act.
The incident has shocked South Africa, with some of the highest crime rates and the third highest rate of rape in the world, and renewed calls for chemical castration of convicted rapists
She said police recovered unlicensed firearms, explosives, and items that belonged to the victims during the operation but had yet to identify the 17 other men.
Police Minister Bheki Cele announced earlier three men had been arrested, while police were conducting searches in the area to find the other suspects.
He confirmed that police were investigating 32 counts of rape and a case of armed robbery and said the women were taken to hospitals or places of safety.
Their distraught parents were contacted to drive out and pick the girls up.
He said: ‘The operation is ongoing until all of the suspects are found and the response will be serious to show the state our protection of young women is clear,’ Cele said.
‘Even the men were stripped with many left naked or just their underpants on.’
The minister said the police had many successful operations in which they closed down operations at illegal mines where mainly Illegal immigrants dig for gold.
They are known as Zama Zama’s and are highly dangerous, terrorising, raping and robbing locals. There are often involved in sprawling gunfights with police.
They venture illegally onto old closed down mines and burrow into the rock to try and find any gold that had been missed in what can be a lucrative operation.
But many die in collapsed tunnels or from in-fighting if one miner strikes it rich.
Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that police were investigating 32 counts of rape and a case of armed robbery
A resident of West Village in Krugersdorp speaking to News24 on condition of anonymity to prevent reprisals said that the attack did not come as any surprise.
She said: ‘They have long terrorised residents and we hear gunshots at night. It’s not something new. It is an old and ongoing problem that petrifies us all.
‘Women have previously been raped and dragged into the bush. The Zama Zama’s is an old problem, but now we’re at a place where it’s destructive and dangerous.’
The villager said the illegal miners fought among themselves for the unlawful ownership of the old mine and residents who used it for recreational and other purposes.
She added: ‘There are lots of killings and fights between and they fight and kill each other. Each morning you see their bodies at the roadside. It will never stop’.
South Africa has the third highest crime rate in the world, according to World Population Review, having ‘notably high rates of assaults, rape, homicides, and other violent crimes.’