A disruptive operation by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit, the Department for Mineral Resource (DMR), Provincial Organised Crime Unit, Public Order Police Unit, the Air Wing and Local Criminal Record Centre resulted in the arrest of 33 alleged illegal gold miners at Ellerton rehabilitated mine at Nhlaniki Village outside Giyani last week Friday.
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. The team swooped on the abandoned mine and seized gold bearing material, 5 vehicles and several mining equipment including two generators, mining drill machines, camping tents, industrial hammers and a sieve valued at about R500 000-00.
All suspects will be processed to ascertain their correct identity.
The 33 suspects are expected to appear before Giyani Magistrate’s Court for contravention of Section 5 (4) (a) (b) and (c) read with Sec 1 of 98 (a) (1) and 99 (1) (a) of the Mineral Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 and also read with Sec 332 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and possession of gold bearing material.
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.
South Africa Today – South Africa News