Two of three alleged illegal miners, who were arrested after a shootout with police on Monday, appeared at the Barberton Magistrate’s on Tuesday last weekend.
The appearance of the suspects follows police swift action as a result of an operation which was launched to search for the armed illegal miners around Lily Mine in Low’s Creek near Barberton.
On Saturday, 07 July 2018, police were summoned by security guards who arrested a man around the mine, allegedly in possession of a high caliber rifle. While police were on their way to the scene, they were informed that a group of armed men emerged and snatched the arrested man as well as the rifle, then fled the scene.
They were then compelled to retaliate and in the process, one suspect was fatally wounded and another injured. Police further managed to corner and arrested two more suspects and seized four firearms, hence their appearance. The injured suspect is placed under police guard at the hospital and will appear at the court as soon as he is discharged.
All the three suspects are facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, attempted murder, and possession of dagga.
The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma urge the community to work together with the police, so that they may recover and remove those high caliber rifles which were mentioned by securities, of which are still in circulation and in wrong hands.