Police arrest 43 illegal miners in Limpopo, seize equipment

The group, which includes a South Africa were arrested during a joint intelligence operation conducted outside Mecklenburg.

Forty-two foreign nationals and one South African are expected to appear in the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges of illegal mining and contravention of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.

The suspects were apprehended during a joint intelligence operation conducted by members of the Provincial Illegal Mining Task Team, Provincial Organised Crime Unit and the RR Undercover Security Company at Ga-Phasha Village outside Mecklenburg in Limpopo at about 23:30.

The SAPS had received information about illegal mining activities taking place in the area and swiftly reacted.

“Upon arrival, the police found the suspects busy mining chrome at Sefateng Mine without authorisation. When the suspects saw law enforcement, they ran into the nearby bush while others went into the self-made tunnels to avoid being nabbed. The scene was cordoned and 43 suspects were apprehended,” says Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.

In addition, the SAPS confiscated 12 generators and 10 jackhammers valued at R170 000 and chrome estimated to be more than R1m.

The male suspects, aged between 18 and 43, are 41 undocumented Zimbabweans, an undocumented Mozambican and a South African.

“The police will stop at nothing to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are arrested and ultimately incarcerated for justice to prevail, ” says Limpopo SAPS commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe.

The SAPS is continuing with operations to curb illegal mining across the province.

Read original story on lowvelder.co.za

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