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Limpopo police arrest five illegal miners, seize chrome worth R90,000

File picture: SAPS

File picture: SAPS

Published Sep 14, 2023


Five suspected illegal miners were arrested and chrome worth an estimated street value of R90,000 recovered in Thabazimbi, Limpopo.

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the five, aged between 39 and 58,arrested at Sebilong village on Wednesday.

He said members of the Thabazimbi Crime Intelligence and Waterberg Illegal Mining Combating Task Team activated an operation after receiving information about the suspect's presence and their activities.

"On arrival at the said location, the police found a truck with two trailers loaded with chrome worth an estimated street value of about R90,000 and also a TLB ( tractor loader backhoe). Five suspects were then arrested, and the trucks and trailers seized," he said.

They were expected to appear in the Thabazimbi Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"The police investigations are still continuing," Ledwaba said.

He said the provincial commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe commended the team for arresting the suspected illegal miners and ensuring zero tolerance against illegal mining activities in Limpopo.

In July, the Directorate for Priority Crime (known as the Hawks) seized mining equipment worth R9 million at illegal mining sites outside Rustenburg in the North West.

Suspected illegal miners fled when the police arrived at the sites.

The equipment was seized at Tweelaagte and Skeerpoort, respectively.

Six excavators, one interlink truck containing 36 tons of chrome, one low-bed truck, and three dump trucks were seized for further investigation in Tweelaagte.

In Skeerpoort, a Firman FPG 4800 generator, one Bosch jack hammer, three garden spades, and two Bosch grinders, 14 chisels, and one panga were seized.