Operation Vala Umgodi nets 35 suspects in Northern Cape

Published Jul 9, 2024


The police have arrested 35 suspects during Operation Vala Umgodi, in connection with various crimes including illegal mining and violations of the immigration statutes, the Northern Cape police said on Saturday.

The multi-disciplinary team that started its operation on Saturday, July 6, also arrested three suspects who have been on the run from the police.

In the Namakwa district, a team was despatched and headed to the Bontekoe informal settlement mining area, where they arrested 27 Lesotho citizens along with Zimbabwean citizens, between 20 and 49 years old.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Sam said they were arrested and charged for illegal mining and contravention of immigration laws.

An alert went off in the Koiingnaas mine and the team that was deployed arrested a 24-year-old Zimbabwean male, and seized unpolished diamonds they found allegedly in his possession.

A similar arrest took place in the Frances Baard District in Kimberly, a team arrested seven Malawains, Zimbabweans and Lesotho citizens, between 24 and 54 years old.

They were charged for illegal mining and contravention of the immigration law. Numerous illicit mining implements were also confiscated during the arrest.

The Vala Umgodi team also managed to arrest three wanted suspects, aged 22, 27 and 38 years. They have been on the run from the police for some time, the police spokesperson said.

“The police will tirelessly heighten efforts to eradicate illegal mining in the Northern Cape,” Sergeant Timothy Sam said.