Cape Town – At least 46 illegal miners were arrested and one was shot dead during a search and seize operation on eight premises in Gauteng, South Africa.
Different law enforcement units carried out the operation in the presence of Police Minister Bheki Cele in Krugersdorp and Randfontein, police said on Tuesday.
This followed the horrific incident where eight young women were gang raped while shooting a music video in Krugersdorp’s West Village last week.
In a statement, Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the operation was aimed at rooting out illegal mining.
“The search and seizure operation which was attended by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele; accompanied by Gauteng provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela; Hawks Gauteng provincial head, Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa and district commissioner of West Rand, Major-General Kekana, was carried out simultaneously on eight premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein,
#sapsHAWKS [MEDIA STATEMENT] In an ongoing efforts to curtail #IllegalMining in Gauteng Province, a search and seizure operation was carried out simultaneously on eight (8) premises in Krugersdorp and Randfontein. NPhttps://t.co/TvjF1mq1F9 pic.twitter.com/t11FyLYP1o
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) August 2, 2022
“A total of 46 suspects were arrested and one fatally wounded. The suspects include foreign nationals from neighbouring countries and their status in the country is now a subject of an ongoing investigation,” Nkwalase said.
The Hawks said 700 tonnes of gold-bearing material surpassing R2.5m were found in five of the illegal plants uncovered and 20 cellphones were seized for investigation.