Six arrested for illegal mining

Posted in Latest News

Lentswe, Khuma - North West police have arrested six people in connection with illegal mining activities in the Stilfontein area.

Brig Sabata Mokgwabone, provincial police spokesperson, confirmed that the six were arrested on Thursday 21 March when a team of police units and the Hawks acted on information about suspicious illegal activities at a specific place in Khuma near Stilfontein.

Portia Mndaka (28), Isaac Dube (29), David Sigauke (43), Pedro Matjai (28), Sheperd Mhlongo (24) and Robson Tumbi (24) were arrested by the SAPS.

The North West Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Ryno Naidoo lauded the Klerksdorp Cluster Crime Combatting Unit, Stabilisation team comprising of National Intervention Unit (NIU), Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR & CSM) K9 Units from Kuruman, Cradock, Pretoria, Rustenburg as well as Rapid Rail Unit, Detectives from Pretoria and Hawks for apprehending six suspects and bringing to a halt what appears to be illegal mining and gold refining activities.
“The team went to a house where upon arrival, two suspects tried to flee by jumping over the fence. The pair’s freedom came to an end when the police arrested them. The third suspect was arrested after being found inside the house,” Brig Mokgwabone said.

The police conducted a search that led to discovery and confiscation of mining equipment, generators, electric motors, drills, and processed gold. While still processing the scene, the police noticed equipment used to process gold dust at another house not far from the first one. A couple residing at the second house fled, but were later arrested.

“During the search at the second house, the police confiscated mining equipment, generators, electric motors, drills, processed gold dust, and explosives.

The sixth person, who was alleged to be the owner of the first house, was arrested later in Potchefstroom.

All six suspects, five males and one female briefly appeared in the Stilfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday 25 March on charges of illegal mining, illegal refining of gold, illegal possession of gold-bearing material, illegal possession of suspected stolen goods and illegal possession of explosives.

The case was postponed until Thursday 28 March.

The five men are still in custody, but the woman was released on bail.

The Hawks are still investigating the matter.