Gauteng police said that the seven bodies discovered on the side of the N12 highway near the Putfontein off-ramp close to Benoni were those of illegal miners and they were all Lesotho nationals.
Passersby discovered the bodies, six of which had gunshot wounds in the upper body, while the seventh was burnt.
Gauteng police spokesperson Noxolo Keswa confirmed that families of at least two victims had come forward to claim their loved ones.
Subsequently, two of the victims were identified.
“We can also say that the group is part of the illegal miners that are operating in the area.”
However, the police refused to say whether the men were involved in a turf war with another group of illegal miners or whether they were involved in an altercation with security officials.
“Investigations are still at a very critical stage as we try to identify the bodies and also trying to investigate what exactly happened, what led to the deaths of the individuals.”
Keswa said that investigations continued.