Eleven miners who were rescued after being trapped by debris in an abandoned mine shaft face charges of illegal mining, South African police said today.
The South African Press Association reported that the miners are in police custody following their rescue yesterday.
Emergency workers said other miners who were working illegally at the site near Johannesburg refused to come out of the shaft because they feared arrest.
Local media said the trapped men were discovered after police patrolling in the area heard shouting beneath a mine entrance which had been blocked by a large boulder.
Penalties for illegal mining include fines and prison sentences in some cases.
Illegal mining is common in South Africa, a major producer of gold and platinum.