The operation to rescue illegal gold miners trapped in an abandoned mine in South Africa has been halted overnight, although so far 11 miners have been rescued from the shaft near Johannesburg.
Other trapped miners refused to leave after discovering they faced arrest at the surface. It is unclear how many remain underground, with reports suggesting they could number 200.
An emergency services official said a full rescue operation will not restart unless the miners request it.
Rescue operations ceased as darkness fell but private mine security guards were stationed around the shaft and police were also on hand to arrest any other miners who came out.
A police patrol in the semi-rural Johannesburg suburb of Benoni, where gold has been mined for decades, had been alerted by shouts from the trapped miners.
Vermaak initially said some of the trapped group had told rescuers that 200 more illegal diggers were deeper in the mine, and the exact number who remained was not known.
A crane was used to shift a large concrete slab that was obstructing the shaft belonging to the Chinese-owned bullion producer Gold One, which has prospecting rights to the mine but is not currently working it.
Illegal mining of abandoned shafts is common in South Africa, where informal miners excavate ore to sell, often living underground in dangerous and precarious conditions. Fatal accidents are common, and underground battles between rival groups have also been reported.