Ten (10) Zimbabwean nationals have been sentenced to two years in prison by a South African court for illegal mining activities in the Giyani area under Limpopo province.
The gang was arrested in South Africa by the Hawks on 14 May last year after the elite police unit received information about people who were en route from Phalaborwa to Giyani to sell gold.
The Hawks intercepted the vehicle near the Giyani shopping complex and upon searching the vehicle, the police found unwrought gold, pastel, scale, and mine detectors worth over R900 000 as well as R3800 cash.
The jailed are Mpathise Tshuma (29), Decent Ngwenya (22), Lamulani Sibanda (31), Skhumbuzo Mkandla (21), Ocean Mpofu (28), Prince Ndlovu (27), Brandon Nyoni (22), Clive Moyo (29), Tawanda Ndebele (33) and Philani Ndlovu (33).
Hawks’ spokesperson for Limpopo, Captain Matimba Maluleke said the Zimbabwean nationals were also found guilty of violating that country’s immigration laws. Said Maluleke:
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation would like to welcome the sentencing of ten (10) unlawful gold dealers by the Giyani Magistrate’s Court on Friday (1 April 2022.
The accused persons who are all Zimbabwean nationals were arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation members assisted by Giyani Police and Local Criminal Record Centre members on 14 May 2021.
… The accused appeared several times in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court and subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges.
The court sentenced them to two (2) years imprisonment for contravention of the Precious Metal Act of which one year is suspended and six months imprisonment for contravening the Immigration Act.
The sentences are to run concurrently.