Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
4 Aug 2022
10:31 am

Police destroy zama zamas’ equipment during sting operation

Faizel Patel

30 undocumented zama zamas were nabbed bringing the total to over 130 suspects that have been arrested since operations started.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela Photo: Saps

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said the destruction of equipment used by zama zamas (illegal gold miners) will affect them financially and will take them time to start again.

Mawela led yet another operation in Krugersdorp on Wednesday, to clamp down on illegal miners and disrupt their operations.

The team arrested 30 undocumented illegal miners bringing the total number to over 130 suspects that have been arrested since the high-level operations that started on Friday.

Mawela says the operations were intensified in the West Rand District following an alleged incident of gang rape and armed robbery that occurred on 28 July.

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He says the operations will be conducted continuously to ensure that the areas where illegal mining activities are prevalent are stabilised.

“If they need to start afresh, it will take them some time. And we believe that what we have done today has also affected them financially because we have removed their tools of trade, and these are quite expensive tools of trade.”

Mawela says the thirty undocumented zama zamas will be processed by the established West Rand Processing Centre before appearing at the Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court within 48 hours.

“They are facing charges related to the contravention of the Immigration Act.”

On Tuesday, police seized seven hundred tons of gold-bearing material worth R2.5 million from zama zamas in Gauteng.

The loot was discovered in five of the illegal plants uncovered during a sting operation.

At least 46 illegal miners were also been arrested, and one fatally wounded during the intense multi-disciplinary operation carried out by different law enforcement units simultaneously in Krugersdorp and Randfontein.

The zama zama illegal gold miners have been growing in numbers and openly brandishing assault rifles on social media.

However, the recent gang rape and robbery of eight women at a disused mine dump in Krugersdorp have put them firmly in the spotlight.

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