North West premier calls for immediate action after 20 bodies found near mine

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The bodies of suspected illegal miners were discovered at two locations in Orkney in the North West.
The bodies of suspected illegal miners were discovered at two locations in Orkney in the North West.
SAPS
  • North West Premier Tebogo Job Mokgoro has called for immediate action with regards to illegal mining.
  • This after 20 dead bodies of suspected illegal miners were found near Lawrence Park's mine ventilation shaft.
  • According to a police report, more than 50 people have been arrested in different operations and gold material as well as firearms were seized. 

North West Premier Tebogo Job Mokgoro has called for immediate action in dealing with illegal mining after 20 dead bodies of suspected illegal miners were found near Lawrence Park's mine ventilation shaft.

Mokgoro made the remarks after his visit to the Matlosana Local Municipality following the discovery of the bodies in Orkney, Klerksdorp.

"The situation calls for drastic deliberate action that should happen almost immediately. I made it very clear that we have to strengthen our integrated approach towards dealing with illegal mining. Our efforts must be more sustainable and long lasting in terms of effectiveness."

He said going forward, the province "would pull all resources together to combat, counter and eradicate this menace completely".

Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone said five decomposed bodies were found on Tuesday evening outside an old and unused ventilation shaft, while 14 others were discovered along Ariston Road.

READ | Bodies of 20 suspected illegal miners found in the North West

According to a police report, more than 50 people have been arrested in different operations and gold material as well as firearms were seized. They are still appearing in court.

Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Sello Lehari was among those who accompanied Makgoro to the site.

He said residents needed to work with the police to arrest those who were behind these operations which were problematic to the communities in the area.

"Police are on high alert and investigation are ongoing. Others have been deployed in the identified hot spots. We are expecting more arrests soon.

"Residents must work with us and give us the necessary information. Thus far, the information that came through is not enough. We need to educate our people to work with the police and inform us because the perpetrators are part of our communities. Indeed, an integrated plan will go a long way in dealing with the illegal miners," Lehari added.

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