Integrated forces clamp down on illegal mining

This spirals from illegal mining becoming an ongoing concern for police

The Bulletin News
Five shaft

Illegal mining is a growing business in Mpumalanga. Members of the South African Police Service and other stakeholders in Mpumalanga continue to resolve clamping down on illegal mining. This spirals from illegal mining becoming an ongoing concern for police in the province, especially in areas where there are disused gold mines. These areas include inter-alia Evander, Graskop, Waterval Boven, Barberton and at times the surrounding areas of each mentioned place.
In the recent past, there were numerous arrests for this surge in areas like Waterval Boven, where a number of foreign nationals were arrested and property worth hundreds of thousands of Rands including illicit goods and counterfeit money were confiscated. In another incident, three men were arrested while another was fatally wounded at Low’s Creek near Barberton, during a shootout with police, after mine security had arrested a man in possession of a high calibre firearm. The suspect was soon snatched by a group of armed men before police could arrive. An operation to trace the suspects was launched and in the process, a shootout ensued after the group opened fire on the police, at which point one man was killed, another sustained injuries, while two were arrested and four firearms were seized.
On Friday, 17 August 2018, mine security at the Pan African Resources owned Evander Gold mines had an incursion wherein six people were arrested, two of them were hospitalised after sustaining gunshot wounds while four are presently in custody. The suspects appeared before the Evander Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 20 August 2018, on charges relating to the contravention of the mineral legislation
In another most recent incident that took place at Evander on Wednesday, 15 August 2018, four people were arrested, two fatally wounded in a shootout with police. Six firearms and ammunition were confiscated. This incursion took place after an integrated operation involving Crime Intelligence in Mpumalanga, National Intervention Unit, K9, Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management as well as external stakeholders intercepted an alleged support group that was bringing provisions and/or supplies to illegal miners.
The group when accosted did not hesitate to open fire on the police which led to a shootout culminating in the death of the suspects and subsequent arrests. The suspects, aged between 24 and 30 also appeared at the Evander Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 20 August 2018, bringing the total number of suspects arrested to ten.
The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma stressed the need to clamp down this type of crime and warned the community to refrain from illegal mining. He cited the fact that many people are unaccounted for as they may have perished while underground through interpersonal conflicts or the ground caving on them.
The Bulletin has continuously reported on the illegal mining activities in our area.
The mining activities seem to become bolder every day. It is reported that the mining cartel abducts young men in Gauteng and force them to work underground, mostly with no pay.
The exact figure of miners underground may never be known as deaths are easily concealed. There is ample place to dump bodies.

The Bulletin News
Old mining buildings at no 5 shaft
The Bulletin News
Five shaft Evander


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