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2022/08/03      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel P Nkwalase   |   Province:  Gauteng

GAUTENG – In an ongoing efforts to curtail illegal mining in Gauteng province, the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Westrand together with the South African Police Service (SAPS) Airwing, K9 unit,  Crime Intelligence (CI), Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), Gauteng Traffic Saturation Unit, G4S and Fidelity Security Helicopters, Sibanye Stillwater Protection Services and Eskom officials executed a joint operation that result in a resounding success.  

The search and seizure  operation which was joined by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, MP, who was accompanied by Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela and the Provincial Head of Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa was carried out simultaneously on eight (8) premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein.

A total of forty-six (46) suspects were arrested whilst one was fatally wounded. The suspects include foreign nationals from neighbouring countries and their status in the country is now a subject of the ongoing investigation.  

Furthermore seven hundred (700) tons of gold-bearing material surpassing R2.5 million was found in five (5) of the illegal plants uncovered and twenty (20) cell phones were seized for further investigation.

The suspects are expected to appear in court soon to face charges that includes contravention of Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005, Mining Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996, theft, Mineral and Petroleum Recourses Development Act 28 of 2002 and possibly Immigrations Act 13 of 2002.