Arrests Made after Mass Rape in South Africa

Authorities have charged seven men with 32 counts of rape after a mass assault at an abandoned mine near Johannesburg. A group of eight women were attacked while filming a music video at the mine near the town of Krugersdorp last month.

Officials say they are illegal miners who dig for gold in disused shafts. The men were among more than 60 suspects who appeared in court on immigration and firearms charges. All are believed to be illegal migrants to South Africa.

However, they are now expected to be tried separately because of the severity of their offences. The connection between the assaults and migration has seen angry mobs seeking to track down foreign miners and torch their homes in retaliation.

Earlier this week, three of the rape survivors told the BBC of their ordeal, which left them traumatised and in fear for their lives. South Africa’s Minister for Women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the attacks had given rise to a “moment of crisis” and urged the country to “defend the democratic gains” that women have achieved.

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