Three illegal miners have died after a tunnel collapsed at the Nuttaboy Mine at Kliensee in the Northern Cape. 10 other illegal miners have been rescued.
Community leader Paul Swartbooi has pleaded with government to legalise mining in the area.
“The plea of the communities in Namaland is that the government must legalise the small scale diamond miners in Namaland, so that people can work properly under the regulations, rules, and laws of the government. There are no jobs for our people. There is extreme poverty. So all the people who don’t have jobs or income are willing to take chances to put bread on the table.”
Meanwhile, the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court near Klerksdorp in the North West has sentenced Tjabaka Ramarou to 18 years in prison for murder, attempted murder, and contravention of Immigration Act.
Ramarou was working as an illegal miner in Stilfontein.
In April 2020, he shot two other Zama-Zamas, who were busy cleaning products that they had sourced underground at a Stilfontein mine.
Provincial Police Spokesperson Amanda Funani says, “Ramarou and his co-accused were armed with firearms, ordered two other Zama-Zamas to leave their products. When the two victims failed to obey, Ramarou and his friend took out firearms and shot the pair. Likhama Matela died on the scene while his friend escaped with injuries. A case of murder and attempted murder were opened. The accused and his accomplice fled to Lesotho. The long arm of the law caught up with Ramarou seven months later. He was denied bail and has been in custody since his arrest.”
Kingdom of Lesotho on a mission to root out illegal mining activities: