Zim mining body boss distances herself from ex-driver arrested in SA for alleged gold smuggling

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Tashinga Masinire was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday afternoon. (OJ Koloti/Gallo Images)
Tashinga Masinire was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday afternoon. (OJ Koloti/Gallo Images)
  • Zimbabwe Miners Federation head has distanced herself and the organisation from an ex-driver arrested in South Africa for alleged gold smuggling.
  • Tashinga Masinire was arrested after he was found with 23 pieces of gold in his luggage.
  • He is due back in court in July.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya has distanced herself from her former driver who was recently arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for allegedly smuggling gold. 

"For the record, [he] stopped working for the Zimbabwe Miners Federation as a driver in August 2020, and for people now to be seen or wanting to associate him with Zimbabwe Miners Federation or myself, in particular, is a bit unfortunate.

"It would be folly for people to want to attach him to this organisation or to my persona as the President of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation," Rushwaya told ZimLive.

She told the publication that, as president of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation, she "clearly and categorically states that Tashinga Masinire was no longer an employee of the Zimbabwe Miner's Federation neither was he still my driver and any action taken against [him] should not be in any way associated with us".

In a separate and unrelated matter, Rushwaya made headlines in October last year when she was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare for alleged gold smuggling.

The Herald reports that Rushwaya was arrested by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives after the gold was found in her hand luggage following a search.

READ |  Zimbabwe mining boss arrested at airport for 'attempting to smuggle gold'

Her former driver, Masinire was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday afternoon after he was busted with allegedly 23 pieces of gold found in his luggage.

The 33-year-old had allegedly failed to declare any items and did not have a permit or licence to be in possession of, or to transport, gold.

As a result, the Hawks were called in to effect an arrest and further investigations.

"The preliminary investigation by the Hawks revealed that the suspect traveled from Harare, Zimbabwe, to Johannesburg, South Africa. The 23 pieces of gold worth R11 million were seized for further investigation," the Hawks said in a statement.

READ | Man arrested at OR Tambo for allegedly trying to smuggle gold worth R11m into SA

Masinire appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday, where he was granted R100 000 bail, under the conditions that he may not leave South Africa, and he has to report to the nearest police station three times a week.

Masinire is due back in court on 1 July after the matter was postponed for further investigations. He faces charges of contravening the Customs Act 91 of 1964 and Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005.


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