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2023/09/21      |  Written By:  Brigadier M Gamieldien   |   Province:  Northern Cape

KIMBERLEY: 20 September 2023 -  In an effort to address the pursuing illicit mining activities in the Namakwa District, the Provincial Commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola, executed a two-in-one joint multi-disciplinary operation with the main focus on illicit mining at the AK 64 mining block and the Springbok hostel situated in Kleinsee. The operations were led by the Lieutenant General Otola, accompanied by her three Deputy Provincial Commissioners, Provincial Heads, senior managers from the National office, the Namakwa District Commander and officials from the Department of Home Affairs, provincial components and units.

The multi-disciplinary operation was conducted in  the Namakwa area and dealt illegal miners a hard blow following a crime intelligence driven operation that was executed over two days which commenced on 19 September 2023 and ended 20 September 2023. During the disruptive actions a total of 867 persons were apprehended and arrested for various offences of whom majority were undocumented persons.

The operation focused on illegal mining activities in the Kleinzee area during which numerous digging equipment and implements were confiscated. During the disruptive actions police members, entered the mining areas and arrested illegal diggers in the unauthorized areas. The Springbok hostels were also demolished after the police actions.  Unfortunately three males were injured during the actions and received medical treatment afterwards.

Various SAPS stations and units within the Namakwa District, Provincial Components  and the Department of Home Affairs participated in the execution of the operation . Immigration officials were on sited during the execution of the operation.

All detainees will be appearing in various magistrates courts within the district and will be transferred to holding facilities. Three SAPS helicopters assisted the ground forces with aerial support by directing them in the mining area.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Otola commended the multi-disciplinary task teams including the management of the AK 64 mine who assisted in the execution of the disruptive actions and stated that these actions sent a clear message to illegal miners that their disregard for the law will not be tolerated and continuous actions will prevail unabated and relentlessly.  She also thanked the members of all agencies for their commitment and dedication in this collaborative quest to reclaim the mines from illegal diggers. And at the same time issued a clear message to the locals that harbouring illegal foreigners and undocumented persons is an offence, and they will be prosecuted.