Limpopo: Dozens of suspected illegal miners arrested in operations

Various law enforcement agencies in Limpopo have managed to make nearly 60 arrests in connection with illegal mining activities, 11 of whom were nabbed following a multi-disciplinary operation conducted just recently in the Sekhukhune District Municipality.

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In a statement on Saturday, 13 August 2022, Limpopo Hawks spokeperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said the 11 suspected illegal miners were between the ages of 19 and 37 and are due to make an appearance in the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s court on 15 August 2022.

“After gathering more intelligence about illegal mining activities at Ga Manyaka in Sekhukhune area, a multi-disciplinary disruptive operation comprising the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime, Tactical Response Team, Public Order Police,  Lebowakgomo Local Criminal Record Centre, Sekhukhune District Detectives, Vispol members, Dog Unit, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and  Emergency Services  Investigation was conducted on 12 August 2022”

Limpopo Hawks spokeperson Captain Matimba Maluleke

During the operation, several items used for illegal mining actitivie were also seized, including generators, jackhammers, shovels and wheelbarrows.

“In other separate but similar incidents, more than 48 suspected illegal miners were arrested in Sekhukhune and Waterberg districts. More disruptive operations are still going to be conducted in the province, particularly in areas where illegal mining activities are prevalent,” Maluleke further said.

Illegal mining was recently placed under the microscope following the arrests of 80 alleged zama-zamas in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg. At least 14 of them were accused of gang raping eight women on the set of a music video shoot. Their arrests led to a wave of protests in the area, with community members claiming the illegal miners were behind a string of crimes in the area and demanded government to intervene.

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