JOHANNESBURG, June 22 Four suspected illegal
miners were found dead with gun shots wounds to the head at a
gold mine near Johannesburg, South African police said on
The bodies were found by security guards employed at the
mine on Saturday, police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said, adding
the motives for the killing were unknown.
Illegal mining of abandoned shafts is common in the gold
mines around Johannesburg, with informal miners living
underground in dangerous, cramped conditions for weeks on end as
they dig out small parcels of gold-bearing ore.
Earlier this year, a dozen illegal miners were rescued after
being trapped in an abandoned gold mine in the semi-rural
Johannesburg suburb of Benoni, where gold had been mined for
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Nick Macfie)