Man dies after allegedly helping boss get rid of explosives – police

2018-01-22 22:27


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Cape Town – A 53-year-old man has died after allegedly trying to get rid of explosives for his boss, who had been arrested on a charge of illegal chrome mining, Limpopo police said on Monday.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the man and two other colleagues at the chrome mine near Burgersfort were allegedly asked by their boss to destroy the explosives.

This was soon after three mine managers were arrested on Friday during an operation to shut down illegal mining led by the deputy provincial commissioner responsible for detective services, Major General Bafana Linda, in Limpopo.

The organised crime unit had been investigating the mine for some time for allegedly operating with a fraudulent licence, explained Mojapelo.

Friday's sting was conducted by members of the public order police, provincial detectives, the airwing, organised crime, local criminal record centre, visible policing and officials from the Department of Mineral Resources.

Mojapelo said that in addition to the arrests, police also seized expensive equipment. This included Scania truck horse and trailers, Bell trucks, compressor generators, four front end loaders, two excavators, two Tata trucks and a laptop and printer.

Miner critically injured

However, the bosses apparently asked some of the miners to help get rid of some explosives.

As they were doing this an explosive device detonated and two of the miners were injured. 

One miner, Bright Chirongoma, was critically injured and died in hospital on Saturday night.

The other employee was treated and discharged on the same day.

Meanwhile, Hendrick Els, 42, Ephraim Manyaka, 60, and Phillimon Mashabela, 60, appeared in court on Monday to be charged with operating an illegal mine. They will remain in custody until Monday January 29 for a formal bail application.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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