UPDATE: 33 in court for illegal gold mining in Giyani

Some of the 33 illegal miners appearing the Giyani Magistrates Court on Monday.

Thirty-three illegal gold miners arrested by the Hawks at an abandoned Ellerton mine at Nhlaniki Village outside Giyani last week Friday appeared in the Giyani Magistrates Court on Monday March 5.

Read: GIYANI: Hawks nab 33 illegal gold miners

The suspects appeared for contravention of the Mineral Resources Development Act, the Criminal Procedure Act and possession of gold bearing material.

Read: VIDEO: Illegal mining destroying nature next to KNP

They were remanded in custody until March 13 pending further investigations.

Photo: SAPS

According to the Hawks spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke, gold bearing material, mining equipment and vehicles were seized during the arrests. The arrests were made by a joint-led team comprising of the Hawks, Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit, the Department for Mineral Resource (DMR), Provincial Organised Crime Unit, Public Order Police, the Air Wing and Local Criminal Record Centre .

Maluleke said the multi-disciplinary operation ensued following an outcry by the local community about the alleged illegal mining of gold at Ellerton mine that was closed by DMR in 2016.

Photo: SAPS

“The team swooped on the abandoned mine and seized gold bearing material, five vehicles and several mining equipment including two generators, mining drill machines, camping tents, industrial hammers and a sieve valued at about R500 000,” said Captain Maluleke

All suspects will be processed to ascertain their correct identity.

Read:  MAAKE: Police crack down on illegal mining

Meanwhile, the Hawks have promised to continue with the operations to prevent the looting of mineral resources from Giyani, and from other districts in the province.

Letaba Herald

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