Africa News

SA police arrested 41 Zimbabweans for illegal minin

South African police on Tuesday arrested several illegal miners, among them 41 Zimbabweans and recovered chrome worth more than R1 million in the Mecklenburg in Limpopo province.

In addition to breaking mining laws, the Zimbabweans and one Mozambican have been charged with irregular migration.

The gang was arrested in the Ga-Pasha village as security authorities intensify a crackdown on illegal miners.

Equipment worth over R170 000 was seized during the raid.

Recently, 11 illegal miners among them Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and South Africans died when an illegal mining shaft they were working in collapsed during heavy rains in the same province.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Malasela Ledwaba confirmed the arrests yesterday.

He said the provincial illegal mining task team is out in full force.

“The 42 foreign nationals and one South African citizen are expected to appear before the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s court tomorrow (Thursday) facing charges of illegal mining and contravention of the Immigration Act,” said Lt Col Ledwaba.

“The suspects were apprehended during a joint 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 on Tuesday evening”.

He said the police swiftly reacted to information about illegal mining activities taking place in the area.

Upon arrival, Lt Col Ledwaba said they found the suspects busy conducting illegal mining activities.

He said the suspects ran away and hid in nearby bushes and a small tunnel.

“The scene was cordoned and 43 suspects were ultimately apprehended. We confiscated 12 generators and 10 jackhammers valued at R170 000 and chrome estimated to be more than R1 million,” said Lt Col Ledwaba.

“The male suspects aged between 18 and 43 are 41 undocumented Zimbabweans, one Mozambican national and one South African citizen”.

Limpopo provincial police commander, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe said they will stop at nothing in ensuring that the perpetrators of crimes are arrested.

She said the operation to stop illegal mining is continuing across the province.

The incident comes after four Zimbabweans were among the 21 suspected illegal miners whose bodies were discovered in a mineshaft in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, South Africa in November last year.

In September 2021, South African emergency workers retrieved 11 bodies of Zimbabweans who died after a generator they were using in a disused underground mine exploded in Benoni, some 35km outside Johannesburg.

It is understood that the group which included 15 people, among them Zimbabweans and Mozambicans, entered the mine on August 27 of the same year and were using the generator for lighting and drilling.

The group reportedly died of suffocation while a few who managed to escape and made a report to the police.

The mine is located in the Springs area of Benoni.

In other news – Tweeps Speak about Dr Nandipha Magudumana & Thabo Bester’s Arrival In S.A

After much speculation and Mzansi public waiting with bated breath, finally Dr. Nandipha Magudumana and convicted Facebook r*pist and murderer Thabo Bester arrived in the country.

Following their arrest last week Friday in Tanzania after Dr. Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester fled the country for almost two weeks, the couple finally landed in South Africa this morning.Learn More