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Illegal MINING: Eighty-seven miners face charges in court

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Dec 2, 2021

The criminal case against 87 illegal immigrants who are facing charged related to illegal mining was postponed in the Orkney Magistrates Court this week.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson for the North West Province, Henry Mamothame, said that the matter had been postponed for further police investigation and a section to be made in the regional court. The suspects are facing charges related to illegal mining at shaft 2 in Orkney.

“Owing to the serious nature of this case, the state has applied for it to be transferred to the regional court for trial,” he said.

“The status verification of these miners was completed and it was established in their previous court appearance that all 87 had no legal documents to be in the country. Their attorney also indicated that they will not be applying for bail based on their illegal status in the country,” he said. 

The accused are facing charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition, illegal possession of gold, theft and conspiracy to commit an offence. 

Police reports indicate that eight of the accused were wounded and six were fatally wounded during a shootout with members of the Special Task Force assisted by Hawks Organised Crime in the North West, in an intelligence driven operation on Wednesday, 20 October 2021.

Illegal miners in shootout with police

“From the eight who were injured during the shootout only two are still under police guard receiving medical attention. The court proceeded again in their absence,” he said.

:Police reports revealed that from this operation, a number of items were discovered including two mini-busses, illegal mining paraphernalia, gold bearing material, eleven Illegal firearms (including three shotguns, three rifles, four pistols and one revolver) and bags of food,” he said.

The suspects will remain in police custody until their next court appearance on 19 January 2022.

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