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Thirteen undocumented persons arrested during a disruptive illegal mining operation

A multi-disciplinary disruptive operation comprising of the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Klerksdorp Illicit Mining Task Team, National Intervention Unit (NIU), North West Explosives Unit, K9, and North West Motorcycle Unit has led to the arrest of 13 undocumented persons aged between 15 and 46 on Friday, 01 December 2023. The suspects were arrested at the disused Wolwerand Gold mine in Klerksdorp after information was received about the illegal mining of gold in the area.

Information was operationalised and the team pounced on the illegal miners who then fled the scene, abandoning their equipment. A total of 13 suspects who were found on the periphery of the mining site were apprehended and charged with contravention of section 49 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002. The preliminary investigation conducted could not link the suspects to illegal mining. They will appear in the Klerksdorp Magistrates' Court on Monday, 04 December 2023.

Seizures made during the operation include 15 pendukas, eight generators, a water tank, water pipes, and other mining paraphernalia. Gold-bearing material estimated at R200 000 was also seized. Four informal gold processing plants were destroyed.

The acting North West Hawks Head, Brigadier Malima applauded the team's efforts in disrupting illegal mining activities.

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