In a fully-fledged intensified operation comprising local crime prevention Police, National Public Order Policing, NIU (National Intervention unit), Mounted unit, Infrastructure unit, Westrand K9 Unit and Sibanye Stillwater, a total of 31 illegal miners were arrested in Kagiso.
According to Captain Solomon Sibiya, shafts and holes from which the illegal miners were operating, were also shut down.
Illegal mining equipment seized included 23 pendukas, 59 bags of soil, gas bottles, cutting torches, water pumps, shovels, electric eventing cords, electric motors and steel balls and three giant generators.
“Such operations will be sustainable and intensified until we are satisfied that these perpetrators are no more in existence, no matter how long this will take, we won’t rest,” said acting station head of Kagiso Police Colonel Peter Mabuso.
All arrested illegal miners have already appeared before the Kagiso Magistrate’s Court and were remanded in custody. They will all be denied bail.
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On Thursday, police raided a business premise in Roodepoort and discovered equipment suspected to be used for illegal mining.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo, the equipment that includes “pendukas” are allegedly manufactured by this company, using gas bottles and steel water pipes. Also found at the premises were iron balls, electric motors, generators and compressors.
Three undocumented persons, who are employees of this company, were arrested while police are still searching for the owner of the company.
Earlier in the day, Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, led Operation O Kae Molao in Florida where places reported to be harbouring illegal miners were raided. During this operation, police arrested more than 48 undocumented persons who are suspected to be illegal miners and seized bags full of what is suspected to be gold-bearing material, explosives, generators, pendukas and spades.
“It has always been my aim that we identify the person or company that manufactures and support illegal miners with tools of trade. After we have disrupted and flattened the illegal mining, you will find that a few months later the operation is up and running again with new equipment. That clearly shows that there is someone who is supplying the tools of trade. I am delighted that we eventually found the supplier. We will continue to deal decisively with illegal mining and disrupt any operation that surfaces,” said Mawela.