Alleged illegal miners die after machine capsizes

TUBATSE – Four alleged illegal miners died when a mining machine, a dump truck they were operating at the site swerved and capsized from a mountain in Maandagshoek, Mankgakganyane section outside Burgersfort.

Police said the four miners died during the incident which occurred on Saturday, 14 April 2018 evening at about 21:10.

According to information at police disposal, six alleged illegal miners were in the vehicle on the mountain when it suddenly swerved and overturned several times, instantly killing four males and seriously injuring two.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said police were called to the scene, reacted swiftly and on arrival, the victims were found between huge rocks in the wreckage.

Mojapelo said the injured were taken to hospital with serious injuries following the incident and a case of culpable homicide was opened at Driekop SAPS outside Burgersfort.

Limpopo SAPS said they have thus far succeeded in dealing with incidents of illegal mining which have largely been brought under control since the launch of the provincial operations I May 2017 led by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Crime Detection, Major General Bafana Linda.

Police said 70 illegal miners, including the kingpins have already been arrested and mine equipment worth millions of rands were confiscated.

Lt General Nnke Ledwaba, Limpopo Provincial Police Commissioner, has once again warned communities, especially those along the R37 road between Lebowakgomo and Burgersfort, to desist from engaging in illegal mining.

Ledwaba said apart from one facing possible arrest, there were some potential hazards and life threatening situations often associated with those activities.

“People should therefore stop this tendency,” concluded Ledwaba. Police said investigations into the cause of the accident and to make a determination whether the victims were indeed illegal miners have already commenced.

Thapelo Motseo

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