Forty-one undocumented Zimbabweans were arrested in South Africa for illegal chrome mining.
In a statement, police spokesman Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the suspects will appear before the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court this Thursday. Said Ledwaba:
The suspects were apprehended during a joint intelligence operation conducted by the members of the Provincial Illegal Mining Task Team, Provincial Organised Crime Unit together with the RR Undercover Security Company at Ga-Phasha village under Sefateng mine jurisdiction in Mecklenburg policing precinct at about 23:30.
Police received information about illegal mining activities taking place in the area and swiftly reacted. Upon arrival, police found the suspects busy mining a precious metal (chrome) at the mine without authorisation.
When the suspects saw police, they ran into the nearby bushes and others went inside the self-made tunnels to avoid being nabbed.
Police confiscated 12 generators and 10 jackhammers all valued at R170 000 as well as chrome ore worth R1 million from the suspects.
Ledwaba said the suspects are all male and aged between 18 and 43. 41 are undocumented Zimbabweans, one is a Mozambican national and there is also a South African citizen.
Ledwaba vowed that South African police will stop at nothing in ensuring that illegal miners are arrested and prosecuted. – (Pindula)