An operation to rescue men who were trapped in an illegal goldmine in South Africa ended after 11 miners were pulled out to the surface, an emergency official said.

Many others were reportedly reluctant to come out with officials present, fearing arrest.

Rogger Mamaila, a local municipal emergency and rescue services official said: "The rescue operation was carried out to completion. We are not going to resume tomorrow,"

He spoke around two hours after emergency workers removed boulders that had blocked the shaft trapping the dozens of miners, and the 11 came out.