Independent Online

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

PICS: Cops seize R2.5m gold-bearing material from zama-zamas in Gauteng, arrest 46

Gauteng provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela at the one of the scenes where 46 illegal miners, known as zama-zamas, were arrested. Picture: Hawks

Gauteng provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela at the one of the scenes where 46 illegal miners, known as zama-zamas, were arrested. Picture: Hawks

Published Aug 3, 2022

Share

Pretoria – At least 46 illegal miners have been arrested, and one was fatally wounded during an intense multi-disciplinary operation carried out by different law enforcement units simultaneously on eight premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein.

Spokesperson for the Hawks, Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the operation aimed at curtailing illegal mining comprised the Hawks based in West Rand, several SAPS units including the Airwing and Crime Intelligence, the Gauteng Traffic Police, G4S and Fidelity security, Sibanye Stillwater’s protection services and Eskom officials.

Story continues below Advertisement
Officials led by Police Minister Bheki Cele at one of the scenes following the arrest of at least 46 illegal miners during a simultaneous take-down operation in Krugersdorp and Randfontein. Picture: Hawks

“The search and seizure operation which was attended by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele; accompanied by Gauteng provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela; Hawks Gauteng provincial head, Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa and district commissioner of West Rand, Major-General Kekana, was carried out simultaneously on eight premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein,” Nkwalase said.

“A total of 46 suspects were arrested and one fatally wounded. The suspects include foreign nationals from neighbouring countries and their status in the country is now a subject of an ongoing investigation.”

Furthermore, the Hawks said 700 tonnes of gold-bearing material surpassing R2.5m were found in five of the illegal plants uncovered and 20 cellphones were seized for investigation.

The tonnes of gold-bearing material seized from the illegal miners, known as zama-zamas. Picture: Hawks

“The suspects are expected to appear in court soon to face the charges that include contravention of Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005, Mining Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996, theft, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 and possibly Immigrations Act 13 of 2002,” Nkwalase said.

Last week, eight women who were shooting a music video at the mine dump were raped by armed zama-zamas.

Hundreds of zama-zamas have since been arrested, but police have yet to positively link them to the rape.

Story continues below Advertisement

According to reports, one of the victims was raped by at least 10 men.

IOL

Story continues below Advertisement

Share