Illegal gold miner turned into state witness

Photo supplied/ Limpopo SAPS.

By Angie Nkuna

GIYANI- The Hawks provincial spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke says out of the 12 illegal gold miners who were arrested last Tuesday at Mapuve village just outside Giyani town, one of the suspects has been turned into the state witness.

Meanwhile, Daniel Chavalala (45) has appeared separately at the Giyani magistrate court last Wednesday and he was remanded in custody until 16 May for formal bail application and the remaining 10 suspects Peutrus Malinga(47), Elijah Mhlongo (45), Sbusiso Khoza (41), Thulani Lubisi(42), Zweli Sithole (34), Johannes Manyisa(54), Silas Mlambo (32),

Roderick Gwambe(49), Abel Mathebula (63) and Rhulani Maluleke appeared on Thursday, and were also remanded in custody until 16 May for formal bail application.

These suspects were arrested by the Hawks’s Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit.

Captain Maluleke says the suspects were arrested for contravention of Precious and Metal Act 37 of 2005 sec 4 (possession of unwrought precious metal).

“The suspects were arrested during an intelligence driven disruptive operation aimed at dealing with illegal processing of mineral.

“We are committed to uproot all criminal activities in all spheres of the province and we need community engagement to help fight all this criminal activity,” said Captain Maluleke.

During the operation,the Hawks uncovered backyard gold processing laboratories and seized gold mining equipment which includes gas cylinders, generators, gold bearing materials, mercury, atomic and manual operating pendukas, industrial hammers, gold bearing material grinders, wheelbarrows and industrial torches/flash lights with the estimated value of over R1.5M.