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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

32 foreigners arrested in Limpopo and deported

Another suspect was nabbed for possession of prohibited firearms.

Thirty two foreigners were arrested in different locations including borders within Limpopo’s five districts, including the Beitbridge Port of Entry.

According to Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, they were nabbed from Saturday night until the early hours of Sunday for contravention of the Immigration Act.

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They appeared before various Magistrate’s Courts and were deported back to their countries of origin by the Immigration Officers from the Department of Home Affairs.

Police arrested more suspects for various offences. These range from mining of precious minerals without the mining rights, possession of prohibited firearms, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of illicit drugs, theft of firearms and contravention of the Immigration Act.

In one case, police arrested a 53-year-old man, Thomas Sibuyi, who briefly appeared before Nkowa Nkowa Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for alleged illegal mining.

They arrested him at Letsitele outside Tzaneen in Mopani District.

Police found the suspect while he was allegedly digging and packaging precious minerals at an illegal mining site.

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The court released him on bail and postponed his case to 24 June 2024, awaiting investigation results.

Two more suspects, Bright Tombo and Pervival Chigagwa, were remanded in custody after their appearance before Nkowa Nkowa Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for illegal mining.

Their cases were remanded to 5 June 2024 for a formal bail application.

The team managed to confiscate the mining equipment. This included shovels, spades, iron bars, and bags full of precious metals and a pocket scale at illegal mining sites.

Possession of drugs

In another case, 41-year-old Danial Ibeto, also a foreigner, was arrested for alleged possession of illicit drugs including crystal meth, rock and cocaine.

Police arrested him at his place of residence at Mokopane in Waterberg District.

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He appeared in court on Tuesday 28 May 2024 and the case was postponed.

In a separate incident, police arrested two men aged 21 and 32, Fedrick Mala and Max Reynders, for alleged unlawful possession firearm with ammunition and theft of a firearm respectively.

Police arrested the duo in Mokopane.

More guards to the borders

To address the concerns about porous borders, the Border Management Authority last week welcomed 400 new junior guards.

The recruits, who have been in training since September 2023, will be deployed across the country’s borders on 1 June.

South Africa has 71 ports of entry of which 52 are land, 10 are international airports and nine are seaports.

“The deployment of border guards is a clear indication that the Government is incrementally implementing efforts to grow the BMA. It has a clear intention to secure our borders and to promote the safe and regular movement of people in our border environment,” said Dr Mike Masiapato, commissioner and CEO of the BMA.

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“We need to facilitate and manage the legitimate movement of persons and trade in and out of South Africa. All of them will deployed to the land ports of entry considered to be ‘very problematic’.”

The armed guards will be authorised to search, seize and arrest, he said.

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