Tebogo Msimanga |
Four suspects are expected to appear before the Stilfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 18 July 2022, facing three counts of attempted murder, another three of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, and one of malicious damage to property.
North West Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone said the suspects were arrested on Thursday, 14 July 2022. “This is after a group of approximately 100 illegal miners commonly known as “zama zamas” were spotted near shaft No. 4 in Vaal Reefs near Stilfontein. It is alleged that some of the illegal miners fired shots towards the Specialised Services Group (SSG) security officers”
Mokgwabone said the officers returned fire and one suspect was wounded. “Consequent to the incident, the members from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Illicit Mining Task Team and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) were mobilised. The operation ultimately led to the arrest of three more suspects and confiscation of two firearms and ammunition”.
Mokgwabone further said the wounded suspect was admitted to hospital where he is under police guard while the rest of the “zama zamas” fled on foot. “Investigation into the matter continues and the DPCI is investigating”.
The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello strongly warned that illicit economic activities will not be tolerated and that those involved, will be dealt with harshly.