Zimbabwean teen arrested digging for gold in SA, nine others arrested for illegal mining




Equipment seized during Operation Vala Umgodi. Picture: SAPS
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A total of 10 people were arrested in connection with illicit mining activities in Limpopo over the past few days.

Police said these arrests form part of Operation Vala Umgodi a police imitative that strive to combat illicit mining activities and sustaining stability in all mining areas.

Majority of the criminals were foreign nationals.

Speaking to the arrests, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, said in the first incident on Monday night, a total of seven men, between the ages of 22 and 44, were arrested in Sekhukhune District.

“The two male Mozambique nationals were arrested under Mecklenburg policing area for contravention of immigration act while the five Zimbabwean nationals male suspects were nabbed while digging chrome underground in a yard in the middle of the night in Apel Village.”

They are expected in court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, police arrested a 17-year-old Zimbabwean national allegedly in the act of digging gold underground at Muchipisi Village.

“The suspect is expected to appear before Malamulele Magistrate’s Court soon.”

He faces charges of contravention of the Immigration Act, contravention of the Precious Metals Act, as well as illicit mining.

“The police confiscated a number of mining equipment that were found being used in the commission of illicit mining that included a generator, two water pumps, three jack hammers, a crowbar, three hammers, two shovels and five bags of precious metals,” Ledwaba said.

Two men arrested on charges of the illicit mining of sand appeared in the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Ledwaba said the duo were released on bail and their case was postponed to next month for further investigation.

IOL