Suspected illegal chrome-mining kingpins end up in dock

2017-07-24 14:04
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Lebowakgomo – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday vowed to oppose the release of two suspected illegal chrome-mining kingpins in Limpopo.

The two alleged ringleaders appeared at the Thabamoopo Magistrate's Court on Monday after their arrest on Friday.

State prosecutor Mmashai Tema said the State would oppose the application by Ferdinand Janse Van Rensburg and his co-accused Wilco Ludwig Botha.

The two are currently facing charges of possession of stolen chrome. They joined seven other suspects who are linked to the illegal mining case.

The pair would remain in custody until August 1 for their formal bail application.

They were arrested after police launched a special operation in the Sekhukhune district.

Targeting inactive mines

Illegal miners had targeted the district over the past few months. As a result, tons of chrome were mined from mostly abandoned mines and unchartered areas in the region.

News24 understands that the sites targeted were specifically areas where mining had been halted for rehabilitation processes.

For more than eight years, locals dug and exploited the leftovers in the platinum and chrome rich belt.

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant is currently meeting mining stakeholders in the area.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo told News24 that they will continue monitoring the area.

"Our investigations are ongoing, there is possibility of making more arrests," he said.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  mining  |  crime

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