Internal Affairs

Hawks net illegal miners, firearms, explosives

National Hawks Head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has lauded the seizure of a firearms cache and arrest of 20 suspects linked to illegal mining during an operation at a mine shaft in Stilfontein in the North West.

Lebeya on Monday hailed the operation, warning that these measures were “only just the beginning”.

In a continuous fight against illegal mining, the North West Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by members of the Hawks’ Tactical Management Section, Special Task Force, National Intervention Unit, District Illegal Mining Task Team, Tactical Response Team, Bidvest Protea Coin, and Harmony Gold mine embarked on an early morning raid at a mine shaft in Stilfontein on Monday.

Hawks spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale, said: “The operation follows weeks of surveillance into the alleged illegal mining activities of the suspects resulting in the arrest of 20 suspects and the seizure of 15 AK47s, six hunting rifles, two shotguns and one R5, boxes full of ammunition, explosives and an undisclosed amount of money.”

She said the operation was ongoing and did not rule out the possibility of more arrests and more seizures.

The suspects are expected to make their first appearance before the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where they will be facing preliminary charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of prohibited firearms, possession of ammunition and contravention of the immigration act.

Source: South African Government News Agency