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Government will stop illegal mining, says Ramaphosa

President calls on communities to give police space to do their work

Mawande AmaShabalala Political journalist
President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out about illegal mining and corruption in SA.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out about illegal mining and corruption in SA.
Image: Alaister Russell

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern about rising levels of crime, especially violent crime. 

Speaking at the Presidential Social Sector Summit in Boksburg, he said the events in Thembisa in Ekurhuleni and Kagiso on the West Rand were cause for concern.

The gang-rape of eight women in Krugersdorp was a “heinous crime” and the reaction by communities who went on a rampage and protested was understandable.

Police were doing all within their power to combat lawlessness allegedly perpetuated by illegal miners on the West Rand.

“Over the past few days we have seen scenes of violent protests. We have seen damage to public infrastructure and, in some cases, we have seen loss of life, such as in Kagiso and Thembisa.

“These incidents are of great concern, but they highlight most of the challenges our country is facing. As we address this, we need to distinguish between legitimate protest and criminality, because unless we do this we will lose what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.

“The commissioner of police together with the minister have set up teams to deal with illegal mining and with those zama zamas in the illegal activities they get involved in, particularly in terrorising our communities. We will put this to an end and we will do it as effectively as possible.”

Ramaphosa also recommitted government to fighting corruption and said the results showed something was being done.

In the past financial year, the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit finalised 380 cases with a 90% conviction rate.

Over the same period, 380 government officials were convicted of corruption, along with 209 people  in the private sector.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit made 370 confiscations worth an estimated R406m.

“There are 82 state capture cases under investigation with 65 accused people enrolled for prosecution in 20 cases.

“There is clearly much more that needs to be done, but the fight against corruption is gaining momentum. Overcoming these and other challenges requires all sectors of society to bring their respective capabilities together and unite behind a common vision.”

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