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Joint operation leads to more than 100 arrests of suspected illegal miners in Ekurhuleni

3rd December 2023

By: News24Wire

  

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A joint operation between the SA Police Service, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Department of Home Affairs led to the arrest of more than 100 suspected illegal miners (colloquially known as zama-zamas) in Primrose, Ekurhuleni, on Friday.

Gauteng police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo, said authorities descended on the Marathon informal settlement after public outcry about illegal mining and random shootings in the area.

"During the operation, which [ran from] the morning until late in the afternoon on Friday, the team arrested more than 100 undocumented foreign nationals who are suspected to be involved in illegal mining in the area.

"A number of places where they illegally process gold-bearing material were raided and dismantled. A significant quantity of tools of the trade that include gas cylinders, phendukas (makeshift, hand-cranked tumblers), explosives and generators were seized," said Masondo.

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, applauded the integrated forces for working together and called for communities to continue reporting any illegal activities, including illegal mining.

"The presence of SANDF members and other law enforcement agencies is helping us a great deal as we continue to make inroads in the fight against illegal mining in our province," Mawela said.

Police said the joint operation would continue across the province to deal with the scourge of illegal mining.

Edited by News24Wire

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