South Africa: Illicit Mining Team Apprehends Nine Suspects and Seizes Two Rifles

press release

In an endeavour to clamp down on illegal mining activities and proliferation of illegal firearms, the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Illicit Mining team has in the past three days arrested 11 suspects and seized two rifles as well as 30 ammunition.

In the first arrest, on Sunday, 20 December 2020, the team members were on duty when they received and operationalised information about a firearm at Extension 6, Khuma Location. It is alleged that upon arrival at the place, a search was conducted in the shack where seven males were found. During the search, an AK 47 rifle and 30 ammunition were found hidden beneath the mattress. As a result, Justice Khitsana (29), Rethabile Mohloai (18), Sewahodimo Mokewa (34), Lekhoa Motsamai (34), Rethabile Ramaphiri (36), Mokete Tsemase (19) and Sipho Tsemase (24) who are all Lesotho nationals, were apprehended for unlawful possession of firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and contravention of Section 49 (1)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002). The accused were all remanded in custody until Thursday, 7 January 2021, upon appearance in the Stilfontein Magistrates' Court yesterday.

In another arrest on Tuesday evening, 22 December 2020, the vigilant team members were on routine patrol when they spotted a suspicious white Toyota Avanza vehicle near No. 10 Shaft in Stilfontein. The vehicle was stopped for a search leading to discovery of an AK 47 rifle. The four occupants including the driver aged between 27 and 36 were arrested after failing to account for the firearm.

They are expected to appear in the Stilfontein Magistrates' Court soon on a charge of unlawful possession of firearm.

The District Commissioner of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Major General Suzette Pretorius lauded the team members for their hard work that resulted in the arrest and seizure of the firearms and ammunition.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is investigating both cases.

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