heavily armed

Illegal firearms found in a mine shaft raid in North West. Photo: SAPS/ Facebook.

Heavily armed illegal miners nabbed in North West

Police Minister Bheki Cele to visit the mine shaft in the North West where heavily armed miners were apprehended today

heavily armed

Illegal firearms found in a mine shaft raid in North West. Photo: SAPS/ Facebook.

Heavily armed illegal miners have been apprehended following a multi-disciplinary raid in a mine shaft in Stilfontein in the early hours of the morning, Monday, 10 October.


Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said in a continuous fight against illegal mining, the North West Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by members of the Hawks’ Tactical Management Section, Special Task Force, National Intervention Unit, District Illegal Mining Task Team, Tactical Response Team, Bidvest Protea Coin, and Harmony Gold mine embarked on an early morning raid at a mine shaft in Stilfontein on 10 October 2022.

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She added that the operation follows weeks of surveillance into the alleged illegal mining activities of the suspects resulting in the arrest of twenty (20) suspects and the seizure of fifteen (15) AK47s, six (6) hunting rifles, two (2) shotguns and one (1) R5, boxes full of ammunition, explosives and an undisclosed amount of money.

Illegal firearms found in possession of illegal miners in North West. Photo: SAPS/ Facebook.

“The operation is ongoing and we cannot rule out the possibility of more arrests and more seizures.”


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Meanwhile the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has lauded the excellent arrests and seizures by the multi-disciplinary team and warned that this is only just the beginning.

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The heavily armed illegal miners are expected to make their first appearance before the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 12 October 2022 where they will be facing preliminary charges of conspiracy to commit robbery to wit gold, possession of prohibited firearms, possession of ammunition and contravention of the immigration act.

Prior to the court appearance, the Management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) led by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele will visit the crime scene where the 24 firearms were seized and 20 suspects arrested following the takedown operation at the mining shaft in Stilfontein.

In other crime-related news, members of the Tactical Response Team and Crime Intelligence in Mangaung Metro, foiled a planned armed robbery that was supposed to be carried out in Botshabelo on Sunday, 09 October 2022.

Police say their team followed the armed suspects driving along N8 National Road between Bloemfontein and Botshabelo and tactically halted the Toyota Conquest at about 14:00. Two suspects were arrested and two firearms with 15 rounds of ammunition were seized.

This is a developing story.