Three mine owners arrested for operating an illegal mine

MADIKANA – Three owners of Klipham mine who were arrested for operating an illegal mine last Friday, 19 January 2018 in the afternoon were remanded in custody when they appeared before the Mecklemburg Magistrates Court on Monday 22 January 2018.

The three managers, Hendrik Christiaan Else (42), Ephraim Manyaka (60) and Philemon Mashabela (60) are expected to reappear before the court on Monday 29 January 2018 for formal bail application.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said the arrests were effected during Operation “Close Illegal Mining led by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Detective Services, Major General Bafana Linda.

Mojapelo said Klipham mine which is situated next to Marula mine at Madikana village outside Burgersfort had been operating with an alleged fraudulent license for a period of more than four years.

“The meticulous investigations conducted by members of the organized crime unit to led to these arrests and subsequent confiscation of mining machinery worth millions of rands,” informed Mojapelo.

He added that the provincial operation was conducted by members from Public Order Police, Provincial Detectives, the Airwing, Organized Crime, Local Criminal Record Centre, Visible Policing and officials from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).

“Police confiscated 05 Scania trucks horse and trailers, 2 Bell trucks, a compressor generator escorted to Polokwane compound, 4 Front end loaders, 2 Excavators,2 Tata Trucks escorted to Modikwa shooting range, a compressor generator, Diesel Tank SAP 13 80/2018 Mecklenburg SAPS and a Laptop and a printer,” explained Mojapelo.

The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nnke Ledwaba has commended all the members involved for their sterling performance in ridding the province of any act of illegal mining.

Meanwhile, police in Mecklenburg outside Burgersfort are investigating a case of inquest after a 53 year-old Bright Chirongoma succumbed to injuries in hospital after detonating an explosive substance at Klipham illegal mine.

Police said the deceased and the other two persons, all employees at the said mine, were allegedly sent by their employer to destroy the explosives soon after he was arrested together with his two accomplices last Friday 19 January 2018 for operating a chrome mine with a fraudulent license.

“During the process of this destruction, the device exploded and two miners were injured. The deceased was critically injured and later died in hospital on Saturday evening. The other employee was treated and discharged the same day,” said Mojapelo.

Thapelo Motseo

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