Gauteng police have discovered two more bodies of alleged illegal miners at an active mine in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.
This now takes the total number of bodies recovered at the mine from 19 to 21.
Officers made the grim discovery on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Brigadier Brenda Muridili, preliminary investigations suggested that the deceased were moved and placed where they were discovered.
“No foul play is suspected at this stage, and post-mortem will determine the cause of death,” said Muridili.
Muridili confirmed the discovery of the two bodies in Krugersdorp to Newzroom Afrika.
“Our search and rescue teams went back to the scene and they were searching discovered two more bodies which was retrieved from an open shaft.”
She said police would be waiting for the post-mortem results to determine that cause of death of the alleged illegal miners.
“All of the deceased have not been identified, so we are not able to say what nationalities they are.”
While law enforcement officers suspect no foul play, questions have been raised about the policing of illegal mining in the area.
It has emerged that illegal mineworkers died after flooding due to heavy rain on Tuesday evening at an unsupervised mine shaft, leaving them trapped.
The discovery of the bodies come three months after police minister Bheki Cele sent a joint team of law enforcement officials to crack down on illegal mining.
This was sparked by the rape of eight women who were allegedly gang raped while shooting a music video in the area.
However, the community of West Village in Krugersdorp where the eight women were allegedly raped by the illegal miners said they were failed by the police and judiciary after the rape charges were dropped.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said they would continue to prosecute the miners’ alleged contravention of the Immigration Act.