Cape Town – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources welcomed what it believes to be a breakthrough after a three-year intensive investigation into illegal mining syndicate – the arrest of two suspects.
“We believe that a successful prosecution of the suspects would reaffirm our long-held view that illegal mining is a deep rooted activity, in which rich people with resources and connections in high places might be involved,” said committee chair Sahlulele Luzipo.
The Hawks allegedly arrested suspects on Friday after a raid in in Gauteng. They have reportedly confiscated illicitly mined gold and IDs belonging to deceased people - pointing to fraud amounting to R400m.
Luzipo reiterated that mining as well as trading with mineral resources were strictly regulated activities in South Africa and anyone found operating without a permit would face "the full might of the law".
“We hope it is not true, but yet our view is that to a larger extent illegal miners are probably conniving with those who are in a formal trade. As such, we hope that this investigation could unearth more syndicates and bring perpetrators to book, especially the kingpins who stand to benefit out of the proceeds of illicit activities,” said Luzipo.
The accused will appear in court on Monday, June 1 2015 and Luzipo will attend the court hearing.