30 'zama zamas' arrested

2009-11-03 08:25


Bloemfontein - Two workers at Pamodzi Mine and some 30 illegal miners have been arrested after agents infiltrated underground mining operations, Free State police said on Monday.

Police spokesperson Puleng Motsoeneng said "Operation Zama Zama" was launched over the weekend and was conducted by members of the Welkom Police Illegal Mining Task Team, recently set up to combat illegal mining in the Free State.

"The team that worked around the clock arrested two mine employees, two security men of Pamodzi Mine and Protea Coin Security, as well as 30 illegal immigrants from Lesotho and Zimbabwe."

Motsoeneng said three police agents went underground on Friday night at Shaft 9 of the Pamodzi Mine, pretending to be Zama Zamas (as illegal miners are known in the mining industry).

R8 000 to get into mine

She said the agents paid R8 000 at the security checkpoints and to mine employees who work as banks men - people who control the mine lift to the different levels underground.

"The three agents successfully gained entry to go underground together with another ten illegal immigrants, eight from Lesotho and two from Zimbabwe."

Motsoeneng said members of the Task Team recovered the R8 000 as well as some explosives when the group resurfaced.

She said information was followed up and police visited G-hostel in Thabong, where two rooms were searched.

"They arrested nine illegal immigrants from Lesotho and recovered three cap lamps, mine boots, mine belts, hard hats and a gold scale."

Police also searched two rooms in the Moeletsi hostel, in Thabong.

Six illegal immigrants, five from Lesotho and one from Zimbabwe were arrested and equipment confiscated.

Liquor, food confiscated

Motsoeneng said among items confiscated were liquor and sorghum beer, which the Zama Zamas believed could prevent TB, because there were possibilities of catching the disease underground.

A large amount of food was also seized which was believed would have been sold underground.

"Items like a loaf of brown bread are sold for R100, 1kg Morvite powder for R50 and a packet of cigarettes could cost up to R150."

Canned food could to go for R100, a lunch box for R250, a packet of peanuts for R150, dagga of about 10 grams could cost about R500 and 2 litres of sorghum beer about R1 000.

Motsoeneng said many of the food items confiscated were still in good condition and were donated to needy families, while others were donated to the SPCA.


Read more on:    mining

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


IEC likens Free State voters to good wine

Voters in the Free State have matured like good wine and were ready for the upcoming national and provincial elections, local IEC officials say.


Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Welcome on board the kalahari.com 24 hour sale on books!

Today only, buy 1 book and get 1 FREE on the top 100 books. Offer expires midnight 23 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be constantly on the move, working too hard, networking and making sure everything is working and everyone is satisfied,...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.