On the Foreign Scene
South African prosecutors have charged seven self-employed miners with the rapes of eight women nearly two weeks ago in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.
According to the report, seven more were also charged on Thursday.
The rapes of the women, who were part of a film production crew shooting a music video at an abandoned mine in the area, sparked protests and violent attacks against freelance miners, known as zama-zamas.
It is also said that residents accuse the miners of operating illegally and committing many other crimes in their neighborhoods.
Following the rapes, angry residents went on the rampage, assaulting the miners before handing them over to the police and torching the camps where they lived, their belongings and mining tools. The protests erupted in Krugersdorp and surrounding areas including Kagiso, Bekkersdal and Mohlakeng.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, the 14 suspects were identified by witnesses on Tuesday.
More than 80 suspects were arrested in a police raid at a disused mine in Krugersdorp after reports of the rapes and robberies emerged.
Various community and political organizations protested outside the court where the men appeared earlier, calling for the suspects to be denied bail and for the government to address the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa.