Ten more illegal miners arrested while the three still in custody

MPUMALANGA – Tau Moyana (17), Josia Mlambo (18) and Nonhlahla Fortunate Mavuso (38) were remanded in custody by the Matsulu and Barberton Magistrates’ Courts of Tuesday, 27 September 2022 respectively for illegal dealing in gold-bearing materials in terms of the contravention of the National Environmental Management Act.

Their appearance follows their arrest during a multi-disciplinary intelligence driven operation conducted by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Mpumalanga, Mpumalanga Provincial Detectives, National Intervention Unit (NIU), Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), Department of Environmental Affairs, Tactical Response Team (TRT), Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), K9 Unit, Explosives Unit as well as SSG Security Barberton on Monday, 26 September 2022 in Barberton Borehill-Mjindini, Sheba, Verulum and Matsulu B respectively.

During the operation, numerous pendukas, generators, gold bearing materials, gold metal detectors, gas cylinders, compressors, iron balls, and containers were confiscated. The estimated value of the seized property is R200 000-00. Bones suspected to be of endangered species were also confiscated for further investigation.

The suspects were remanded in custody and the case was postponed to 3 October 2022 for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the same team continued with the operation at Slaehoek Waterval Boven on Tuesday, 27 September 2022 where additional 10 suspects were arrested for illegal dealing in gold bearing materials. The suspects aged between 19 and 56 are expected to appear before the Waterval Boven Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 28 September 2022.

During the arrests, generators, explosives, pendukas, gas cylinders, gas bottles, gold bearing materials, and music sound systems were seized for further investigation.

The estimated value of the seized property is over R1 million.

Source: South African Police Service