Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said an intelligence-driven police operation yesterday led to the arrest of the suspects believed to have been involved in illegal gold mining operations, Zululand Observer reported.
“Two unlicensed pistols, explosives, dagga, mine torches, cellphones suspected to be stolen, bullet proof vests and raw unprocessed gold rocks were seized from the suspects’ house near the old Klipwal mine,” added Naicker.
The suspects, aged between 20 and 32, were arrested and charged with being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession of explosives, raw unprocessed gold rocks and dagga.
This, after Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said about 35 suspected illegal miners have been killed in Grootvlei near Springs on the East Rand since the beginning of the year.
On Monday, the bodies of five people were found with bullet wounds after what is believed to have been a turf war between two groups of illegal miners in the area.
Earlier this month police reported 15 illegal miners in the Grootvlei area had been killed in alleged gang fights in a short period of time.
Mofokeng said all the victims were shot dead with different calibre firearms. Regarding the five bodies found on Monday, police said: “From what we got from the community members, there are two groups of people fighting over the territory… We suspect these groups are dealing in illegal mining,” said Mofokeng on Monday.
– Caxton News Service