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The Stilfontein Regional Court in the North West has postponed the case against 87 suspected illegal miners to July 6 for pre-trial conferencing.
The group was arrested in October last year, following an intelligence driven operation which resulted in a shootout with members of the Special Task Force, assisted by the Hawks in the province.
The provincial National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says six of the accused were fatally wounded while eight others sustained injuries during the shootout.
The eight injured have since been discharged from hospital and are now in police custody. Following the shootout, police seized two mini-buses, illegal mining equipment, gold-bearing material, and eleven illegal firearms.
North West NPA Spokesperson, Henry Mamothame, says: “The state and the defence attorney are expected to finalise all the pending issues and provide each other with all the necessary documents to prepare for trial. Subsequent to this process, a trial date will then be decided on. All 87 will remain in police custody after they abandoned their bail applications owing to their illegal status in the country.”
Non-operational mines lead to illegal mining
Although laws are in place for the rehabilitation of mines, many mine operators still leave their non-operational shafts unattended.
This leads to a growing number of illegal mining activities. Billions of rands have been set aside to ensure that proper close-out procedures are followed.
However, this negatively impacts those living around the mining areas.
More details in the report below: