Four in court for illegal mining chrome worth R1 million
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Rustenburg - Four people arrested for illegal mining of chrome worth R1 million were due to appear in the Mankwe Magistrate's Court in Mogwase on Friday, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in North West province said.
Spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said they were arrested when a multidisciplinary team consisting of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Klerksdorp Illegal Mining Task Team, SAPS Airwing and Bidvest Protea Coin followed up on information and executed an operation at a mine in Sun City outside Rustenburg on Wednesday.
The four have been charged with illegal mining and theft of chrome.
"Five trucks were found loaded with stolen chrome. Other exhibits found at the scene included two excavators and three LDV (light delivery vehicles) supplying diesel to earth-moving equipment. All exhibits were subsequently seized for further investigation," she said.
In June last year a number of trucks loaded with 170 tons of chrome, estimated at approximately R2.6 million, were seized in the Rustenburg area when a multidisciplinary team made up of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Rustenburg Flying Squad, the Department of Mineral Resources and the South Africa National Defence Force swooped on several alleged illegal mining activities in Tlhatlhaganyane, Witrantjie and Maologane outside Rustenburg.
Villagers said trucks with Mpumalanga licence plates were extracting chrome from Maologane and that the trucks were guarded by heavily armed men.
In an unrelated case, Captain Rikhotso said that Selby Lerato Monyai, 41, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for unlawful possession of explosives.
He was sentenced at the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane on Wednesday after pleading guilty.
He was arrested on April 29, 2019, after he was found in possession of explosives.
African News Agency (ANA)