Three women linked to a group of men arrested on charges of running an illegal mining operation have all been granted bail, following their appearance in the Carletonville Magistrate’s Court.
Thirty-seven-year-old Lerato Bathebeng, Poppy Mathongwane, 35, and Suzan Duba, 30, are accused of benefiting from the proceeds of crime. They face charges of money laundering and appeared in court on Thursday.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, explained that Bethuel Ngobeni, 38, Nhlahla Leon Magwaca, 26, Thabo Prince Sechele, 34, Moseki Sechele, 28, Dumisani Moyo, 35, and 45-year-old Khudzai Mashaya were arrested on charges of dealing in precious metals, fraud and money laundering.
"It is alleged that Magwaca, who is Dube's boyfriend and Ngobeni, who is a husband to both Bathebeng and Mathongwane, both bought movable and immovable assets with the proceeds of crime in the name of their partners. Therefore, the partners unduly benefited from the proceeds of crime," Mahanjana said.
She said the three were granted R2,000 bail each.
Meanwhile, Ngobeni, Thabo Sechele and Maseki plan to bring a bail application on new facts.
Mahajana said this was done via the accused’s legal representative and the matter was postponed to September 29.
"The bigger case of the nine accused was postponed to November 30 for the defence to be furnished with an indictment and a high court date," Mahanjana said.
IOL previously reported that the six suspected illegal mining kingpins were arrested in October last year, during a raid at their luxury homes in Khutsong and Carletonville on the West Rand.
At the time, Mahanjana said the men allegedly ran an operation where they illegally collected precious metals from disused and abandoned mines, processed and sold them.
It is further alleged that with the proceeds they got from selling the unlawful metals, they bought properties using falsified names.