Police sting nabs fifteen illegal miners in Joburg West

South African Police Service (SAPS) officers on Monday apprehended 15 suspected illegal miners, who were found in possession of gold-bearing dust and tools suspected to be used for illegal mining in Roodepoort, Johannesburg West.

According to a statement issued by the SAPS, during the operations aimed at curbing illegal mining that took place in Sol Plaaitjie, police spotted a suspicious looking BMW. The officers on duty searched the vehicle and found the gold-bearing dust.

Two undocumented foreign nationals were also arrested on the spot.

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“Furthermore, police arrested thirteen undocumented foreign nationals suspected to be involved in illegal mining after they were found with several tools and materials that are suspected to be used for illegal mining. The suspects are expected to appear before Roodepoort Magistrates court soon,” the statement reads.

Last week, police Minister Bheki Cele held an Imbizo where he told residents of the West of Johannesburg that he would “flush out” zama zamas.

Cele kicked off the Imbizo in West Village, Krugersdorp, following recent protests over crime and illegal mining.

During the gathering, both Cele and Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola informed Kagiso residents that a request for the intervention of the South African National Defence Force would be made. In the interim specialised Saps units were deployed to the West Rand from last week Monday.

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The outrage and multiple sting operations stem from the gang rape of eight women who were shooting a music video in Krugersdorp.

Eighty-four suspects have since been arrested. They appeared last week at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

Twenty-one of the 84 suspects are minors and their cases have been transferred to the children’s court.

They are facing charges of illegal mining, contravention of Section 49 of the Immigration Act, unlawful use of explosives and firearms and possible attempted murder.

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