Death of two illegal miners probed by police

An illegal miner digs between rocks as he searches for precious stones on August 3, 2018, in Nthoro village, on the outskirts of the mining town of Montepuez, Mozambique.
The discovery of rubies by a local woodcutter just nine years ago sparked a

An illegal miner digs between rocks as he searches for precious stones on August 3, 2018, in Nthoro village, on the outskirts of the mining town of Montepuez, Mozambique. The discovery of rubies by a local woodcutter just nine years ago sparked a "ruby rush" in Mozambique, which now accounts for 80 percent of the world's production, but Instead of riches and reward, what could have been a windfall has brought harassment, violence and even a local ban on farming. AFP PHOTO / EMIDIO JOSINE

Police received reports on Saturday that people had been trapped inside the mine and a rescue operation was launched.

Police in Giyani in Limpopo are investigating the death of two illegal miners who died during an incident at an old unused mine between Xikukwani and Mavalane villages on the outskirts of Giyani, Limpopo police said on Saturday.

Police received reports on Saturday that people had been trapped inside the mine and a rescue operation by police and the local community was launched, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

“During this operation, these people were removed, [but] two had already perished. One was still alive and he was immediately taken to hospital for medical attention.”

An inquest case had been opened for further investigation. The process of identifying one of the two deceased was still underway and the second one had been positively identified as Patson Mbhiza, 33, from Mavalani village outside Giyani.

The third man, aged in his 30s, was arrested for illegal mining and would appear in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court soon, Ngoepe said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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