Mpumalanga Police clamp down on illegal miners
Police in Ermelo disrupted an illegal mining operation which resulted in 271 suspected illegal miners arrested on Thursday, 13 October 2022.
The report indicates that a total number of 30 Zimbabwean nationals, 92 Mozambican nationals, 11 Kingdom of Eswatini nationals as well as 138 South African nationals were arrested to that effect.
The police from Gert Sibande District led an operation which comprised of different police disciplines that included, Ermelo SAPS, SAPS National Intervention Unit, Ermelo K9, SAPS Air Wing, Department of Home Affairs and local security companies. The team managed to confiscate one front loader, three trucks, six bakkies, wheelbarrows and other implements which are believed to be used in the illegal mining operations. The trucks and bakkies were reportedly loaded with coal.
The arrest came shortly before Minister of Police General Bheki Cele visited Matsulu in the province yesterday, Friday 14 October 2022, where some of the community members complained that little was done about illegal mining.
All the arrested suspects were charged with illegal mining and further investigation will be conducted with the Department of Home Affairs about the foreign nationals’ legality in the Republic.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela applauded the excellent work conducted and warned other illegal miners that similar operations will be carried out throughout the province so that in the end, there will be no longer space for illegal mining operations. “Police in conjunction with other relevant stakeholders as well as other governmental organisations will continue to fight illegal mining activities which are aimed at collapsing the country’s economy” said the General.