Johannesburg – The body of a man, believed to be an illegal miner, was found wrapped in plastic sacks on the side of a main road in Riverlea, close to a defunct mine, on Thursday morning.

A Riverlea community leader, who chose to remain anonymous, told News24 that he was informed of the body shortly after 06:00.

He suspected that the body was that of an illegal miner, also known as a zama-zama.

“It normally happens when they die underground. [The other miners] leave them and go,” he said.

The community leader said this was the second abandoned body to be found in the community in the past year.

“What can you say? We’ve got no words.”

When News24 arrived at the scene shortly after 08:00, forensic officials were uncovering the body.

A small group of people gathered to try and identify the body.

It appeared that the man suffered a severe blow to his head, possibly from a rock fall.

Constable Thumi Kraai of the Johannesburg Central Police Station said the cause of death remained unknown.

“Right at this moment we don’t know much. We will have a clearer picture later today,” Kraai said.


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