By Biodun Busari
No fewer than 80 persons including migrants were arrested by the police following a gang rape of eight South African women.
Two people were killed as one sustained an injury during a gun duel between the police and the suspects.
South African Police Minister, Bheki Cele said the suspects were charged to court on Monday, describing the assault as the “shame of the nation”.
Al Jazeera reports that a gang of gunmen forced their way into a music video shoot near a mine dump in Krugersdorp, a small town west of Johannesburg, on Thursday and raped eight young women from the cast.
“What happened in Krugersdorp is just a shame to the nation,” Cele told a press briefing on Monday, adding some of the victims would suffer long-term consequences. “Some of those destructions are permanent with those kids.”
The gang attacked the crew and cast while they were offloading equipment and preparing the set, according to police.
Police have blamed illegal immigrants working in mines – known locally as Zama Zama – and arrested 84 people during a raid in the area.
“Two more suspects were killed in a shootout with police and a third was wounded and taken to a local hospital,” police said.
On Monday, those detained began to appear before a court on charges of entering the country illegally and possessing stolen goods.
National Police Chief Fannie Masemola said an investigation would establish if the suspects were linked to the rape.
The report said that a small group of demonstrators gathered outside the court demanding swift justice as some held placards reading “No bail for rapists”, “Am I next?” and “My body is not a crime scene”.
It also said the incident has fuelled an ongoing debate on whether to introduce chemical castration for rapists.
It has also mounted pressure on Cele, with critics contending law enforcement agencies are ill-equipped to tackle crime in the country, which has some of the highest murder rates in the world and has recently been hit by a spate of deadly shootings.
In his Monday weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the “horrible acts of brutality are an affront to the right of women and girls to live and work in freedom and safety” as he declared “rapists have no place in our society”.