29 suspects, among them illegal immigrants, nabbed for illegal mining and drug possession

29 suspects, among them illegal immigrants, nabbed for illegal mining and drug possession. Pic: Supplied.

29 suspects, among them illegal immigrants, nabbed for illegal mining and drug possession. Pic: Supplied.

Published Jul 4, 2024


Gauteng police said illegal mining operation, Vala Umgodi, remains steadfast in stabilising levels of illegal mining scourge in Ekurhuleni.

The integrated operations, comprising SAPS, Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) and other law-enforcement agencies continues to make strides in the enormous fight against well-equipped zama zamas.

On Wednesday, the net closed on 29 suspects who were operating illegally in a mine in Boksburg policing precinct.

Among the suspects; two were arrested for illegal mining Act 20 of 1991, one for possession of drugs and 26 for illegal being immigrants.

Police seized illegal mining tools including gold bearing material, spades, hammers, pendukas, gas cylinders, gas bottles, stampers, crush pots, penduka stands, generator, steel balls and liquor.

Ekurhuleni District Commissioner Major-General Anna Sithole applauded the team spirit shown by members in ensuring that the scourge of illegal mining is addressed in the district, and assured the members of the communities that similar operations are still going to be conducted in Ekurhuleni areas.

Directorate for priority crime investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, last week he said the unit has made significant inroads in apprehending individuals involved in high-profile cases, thus ensuring accountability and justice for the victims.

He said these arrests have targeted persons involved in the commission of national priority offences including serious corruption, serious organised crime, serious commercial crime, fraud, money laundering, police killings, cash-in-transit robberies, illegal mining, damage to essential infrastructure, theft of fuel from the pipelines, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and trafficking in endangered species.

Lebeya said 547 suspects representing 526 natural persons and 21 juristic persons were secured before the various courts in the country.

Of these natural persons, 421 which is 80% are South Africans while 105 which is 20% are foreign nationals.

Lebeya said fraud contributed the highest number of arrests with 224 accused including 21 juristic persons.

“Gauteng province contributed more arrests followed by North West province,” Lebeya said.

“A total number of 182 convictions including seven juristic persons were secured with 84 convictions emanating from serious organised crime, 61 from serious commercial crime and 37 from serious corruption. Of these convicts, 120 are South Africans, while 55 which represent 30% are foreign nationals. The top convicted foreign nationals were Zimbabwean with 11, Basotho and Mozambican nationals representing a total number of nine accused persons each,” said Lebeya.

The Star

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