Six people were arrested and illegal mining equipment was seized during a police operation in Pilgrim’s Rest, in Mpumalanga, on Tuesday.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala says police recovered six generators, four water pumps, five 14kg oxygen gas bottles, three 9kg gas bottles, and three 19kg gas bottles.
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He adds that police also seized seven phendukas (a machine used to refine gold), seven phenduka motors, four shovels, and one small scale. All the items were found abandoned as the suspected illegal miners fled the scene when they saw the police.
“Six people were found in the bushes. Five are undocumented Mozambican nationals and one is an undocumented Zimbabwean national,” says Mohlala.
The men appeared in the Graskop Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The Zimbabwean national was released on R2 000 bail. The remaining five were remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court on different dates between October 16 and 19.
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