A 37-year-old Zimbabwean truck driver has been arrested in South Africa for illegally entering that country and illegally transporting chrome worth R650 000 in Limpopo Province.
The truck driver, Brighton Mutandani, was arrested last Thursday by the neighbouring country’s elite cops, the Hawks.
He has since appeared in the Praktiseer Regional Court on charges of allegedly transporting chrome without a permit and contravening the Immigration Act.
Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo, Captain Matimba Maluleke said the suspect was arrested during a crackdown on illegal mining activities in the province. He said:
As the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation continues to fight the scourge of illegal mining in the province, a sting joint operation between the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Crime Intelligence was conducted last week. During the operation, a suspicious tipper truck was spotted driving in the area and it was stopped and searched.
The truck was found fully loaded with chrome that the driver failed to produce a permit for and he was immediately arrested. Further investigations revealed that the driver did not have legal documents allowing him to be in the country.
Maluleke said the chrome and the truck were seized while Mutandani was remanded in custody until Friday for bail application.
Hawks provincial head for Limpopo, Major General Gopz Govender said they intend to conduct more operations to deal with the illegal mining problem.
Illegal chrome mining activities are rife in areas along the R37 road in Sekhukhune District and police have arrested several illegal miners and confiscated mining equipment.