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Landowner, 97 illegal miners nabbed for operating mine on Gauteng farm

Police said the illegal miners are all Lesotho nationals.
Police said the illegal miners are all Lesotho nationals.
Image: SAPS

A 62-year-old landowner and 97 illegal miners were arrested in Heidelberg, Gauteng, on Monday.

The miners, between the ages of 18 and 35, are Lesotho nationals, said police spokesperson Col Athlenda Mathe.

The suspects will appear before the Heidelberg magistrate’s court charged with illegal mining, being in the country illegally, human trafficking, possession of explosives and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Mathe said a team of specialised units from the national intervention unit, tactical response teams, public order police, crime intelligence and detectives, bomb disposal specialists and private stakeholders swooped on the property after receiving intelligence about illicit mining activities.

The team seized mining equipment and implements as well as three unlicensed firearms and 570 rounds of ammunition.

The firearms have been sent for ballistic testing to determine if they were used in other crimes.

The landowner was also found with illegal ammunition and gold-bearing equipment.


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