Six suspects arrested during an operation to restrain illegal mining networks

MPUMALANGA – Six suspects, Godfrey Siyabonga Sithole (45), Godfrey Mongezi (32) Zimbabwean, Simone Tobias Macha (25), Mozambican, Bagayi John Shongwe (77) , Musa Matimela (58), and Nkosinathi Vilakazi (25) appeared in Kabokweni Magistrate court on Friday, 22 July 2022 after they were arrested during a multidisciplinary intelligence driven operation conducted by the Hawks Nelspruit based Serious Organised Crime Investigation together with National Intervention Unit , Tactical Response Team and Department of Home Affairs based in Nelspruit on the same day in Matsulu C.

The six were arrested for illegal possession of gold bearing materials and illegal dealing in gold in two separate premises respectively.

The joint operation was aimed at disrupting illegal mining activities around Mpumalanga. During the operation two laboratories processing gold bearing materials were dismantled respectively. Numerous mining equipment, implements and a vehicle were seized for further investigation.

The six are remanded in custody and the case is postponed to 25 July 2022 for legal representatives and further investigation.

The Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Major General Zodwa Mokoena expressed her sincere gratitude and appreciation to all role-players who participated in the execution of the operation.

Source: South African Police Service

Human Rights