Twenty-four illegal miners have been arrested at Apel in the Sekhukhune District in Limpopo.
The suspects aged between 19 and 50 years were found in possession of illegal explosives, mining equipment and cash amounting to over R16 000.
Police spokesperson Malesela Ledwaba has urged members of the community to report illegal mining in their areas.
“Twenty-four suspects arrested for illegal mining in Apel are expected to appear before court soon. The operation was a joint effort between the police, the Departments of Home Affairs, [the] Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, immigration officials, EMS as well mining companies. The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, has welcomed the success of the operation and commended all the members involved,” says Ledwaba.
Verification of small-scale and disused mines
On Tuesday, the Benchmark Foundation called on government to urgently start to engage stakeholders on the verification of small-scale and disused mines to control illegal activities.
This follows the arrest of 97 suspected illegal miners in Heidelberg, Gauteng on Monday.
A national multi-disciplinary team arrested the suspects, between the ages of 18 and 35 years as well as an elderly farm owner, during a clamp down on illicit mining activities.
All the suspects will soon appear in the Heidelberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of illegal mining, human trafficking, flouting immigration laws, and illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
The video below reports on the illegal mining: