Eleven Arrested in Barberton for Illegal Mining, Including Correctional Services Official

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Eleven Arrested in Barberton for Illegal Mining, Including Correctional Services Official

Barberton, 12 April 2024 – In a significant breakthrough, eleven suspects, including an official
from the Department of Correctional Services, were apprehended yesterday for their alleged
involvement in illegal mining activities. The arrests came following a meticulously planned
operation conducted by law enforcement officials in Noordkaap, Barberton, outside
Nelspruit.

The operation was initiated after a farm owner reported trespassing incidents earlier this
month, suspecting illegal mining activities on his property. Acting on this information, police
officers, as part of Operation Vala Umgodi in Mpumalanga, launched an intelligence-driven
operation.

Upon arriving at the targeted area, police spotted a suspicious light delivery vehicle with
Zimbabwean registration plates, occupied by four individuals. A search of the vehicle
uncovered suspected illegal mining equipment and materials believed to contain gold.

Without hesitation, law enforcement officers detained the four suspects, aged between 33
and 46, including a Department of Correctional Services official, two South Africans, and a
Zimbabwean national. Subsequent investigation led the team to another location on the
farm, where seven additional Zimbabwean nationals, aged between 30 and 41, were caught
red-handed engaging in illegal mining activities.

Further searches revealed additional illegal mining equipment, including a metal detector, in
their possession. Police are currently working in collaboration with officials from the
Department of Home Affairs to address the immigration status of the seven suspects who
failed to produce valid documentation.

In addition to charges related to illegal mining, the seven individuals are also facing charges
under the Immigration Act of South Africa.

The suspects are scheduled to appear at the Barberton Magistrate Court today, Friday, 12
April 2024. Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the Provincial
Commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, has commended the swift action of law
enforcement officers and the recovery of illegal mining equipment, emphasizing the
commitment to combating illegal activities in the region.

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