Police clamp down on illegal mining following the arrest of over twenty suspected illegal miners during joint operation

POLOKWANE - The concerted efforts by the Police in Limpopo to clamp down on illegal mining in identified areas, led to the apprehension of twenty four (24) suspected illegal miners and confiscation of mining equipment and unprocessed chrome. The suspects were arrested during a joint operation conducted today, on Wednesday 20 July 2022 at about 12:30 in the areas around Atok under Apel policing area in Sekhukhune District.

The operation was a joint effort between the Police, the Departments of Home Affairs and Mineral Resources, Immigration Officials, EMS and Phoenix mine security. The various police units involved included Tactical Response Team (TRT) the Hawks, Public Order Police (POPS), LCRS, Detectives and Explosives Unit.

Twenty two (22) of the arrested suspects were found to be in the country illegally and will face additional charges of contravening the Immigration Act.

Police confiscated 13 jackhammers, 07 buckets, 01 generator, 11 shovels, 03 electrical cords, chrome and cash amount of R16450-00.

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the success of the operation and commended all the members involved.

"Community members are warned to desist from engaging in these illegal activities. The Police will persistently conduct similar operations in all affected areas with the aim of bringing perpetrators to book. I therefore appeal to members of the community to report these illegal activities immediately to the police", concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.

The suspects aged between 19 and 54 are expected to appear in the Sekhukhune Magistrate's Court tomorrow, 21 July 2022 facing charges of illegal mining, possession of suspected illegal mining equipment as well as chrome and contravention of the Immigration Act.

The operations are continuing.

Source: South African Police Service