Zama zamas caught in act of processing gold in Limpopo
Eight suspects were arrested for illegal mining by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) in Limpopo on Thursday after being caught processing gold.
Police also seized equipment and material believed to be worth millions of rand.
The suspects, aged between 31 and 65, were due to appear in the Giyani magistrate’s court on Friday for contravening the Precious Metal Act.
They are alleged to have been mining illegally in Hlaneki, Mapuve and Mavalani villages, just outside Giyani.
“The Hawks, the SAPS Public Order Police, Tactical Response Team, National Intervention unit, Local Criminal Record Centre, Explosives Unit, Crime Intelligence, Air Wing, K9, SANDF, department of home affairs, department of mineral resources & energy, department of water & sanitation conducted simultaneous disruptive operations focusing on illegal mining at the three villages, where the integrated team confiscated a generator, hose pipes, saws, electric cables, hammers, 9mm live ammunition, gold nuggets, bags full of gold bearing material, pendukas, grinder and an app gas.
“The confiscated goods are yet to be valued but they are expected to run into millions. The suspects were found processing gold when they were apprehended,” Limpopo police said.
Limpopo DPCI provincial head Maj-Gen Thobeka Jozi welcomed the arrests and assured the public that police would continue to intensify operations to “decisively deal with illegal mining which is contributing to serious and violent crime in the province”.