R2.5 million chrome bust
Mogwase – How Ruighoek Chrome Mine (close to Pilanesberg National Park) lost millions to an illegal mining syndicate are part of an ongoing police investigation.
How did all the suspects manage to conduct their illegal chrome mining activities for so many months without being detected?
Five suspects were nabbed in an operation involving the Hawks, the South African Airforce, the Klerksdorp Illegal Mining Task Team and other law enforcement agencies.
Two members of the syndicate, Samuel Makhothi (69) and Andries Segobela (45), were arrested at the mine on Thursday 7 April 2022. They were both remanded in police custody when they appeared before the Mogwase Magistrates’ Court on Monday 11 April. They will appear in court for a bail application on 25 April.
Three more suspects were wounded during a shootout after they fled the scene. The case against these three suspects has been handed over to SAPS’ Detective Services.
In an interview with Platinum Weekly, Hawks spokesperson for the North West province captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said that the total number of syndicate members is not yet clear. “They are not employed at the mine,” she said, referring to the suspects.
Approximately 3,000 tonnes of chrome worth about R2.5 million was seized. Rikhotso revealed that four interlink trucks, one tipper truck, three excavators, two diesel tanks, two vehicles and a 9mm pistol, of which the serial number was removed, were also seized by police during the operation.
Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in the North West Province major general Patrick Mbotho commended all those involved in the operation. He said that all illegal mining syndicates would be flushed out and that those implicated would face the full wrath of the law.
Said Mbotho: “Mining is the highest contributor to the North West economy. It is a very important industry that must be protected.”
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