Three suspects appeared before the Mecklenburg
Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of illegal mining, unlawful possession
of precious metal and defeating the ends of justice.
Blessing Nhlabathi (44), Mbonisi Ncube (40) and Lethabo Dineo Tsima (35) were arrested during a joint operation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation with the assistance of the Mecklenburg SAPS, the Department for Mineral Resources (DMR) and Black Chrome Mine security.
According to Hawks spokesman in Limpopo, Capt Matimba Maluleke, the men were found busy mining the shafts adjacent to where one of their associates was recently found dead on Tuesday (May 14) by mine security. The deceased reportedly died in an incident where rocks fell on him while he was mining illegally.
“Equipment, which includes an excavator, stock piles of precious metals to the value of over R400 000 and a Mercedes Benz ML 350 AMG worth R300 000 belonging to the suspects were seized.”
Both Nhlabathi and Ncube were denied bail on Monday while Tsima was granted R1 000 bail.