A group of suspects arrested during a Hawks led operation to curtail illegal mining in the area, appeared in the Krugersdorp and Randfontein Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday.

The case against 18 adults was postponed to 11 August for bail application whilst the remaining six juveniles are due to be back in court on 8 August for assessment, said Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase.

“About 21of the 24 suspects are alleged to be from Zimbabwe and Mozambique and are consequently being probed for contravening [the] Immigration Act.”

Meanwhile in the Krugersdorp Magistrates court, 10 of the 23 suspects appeared on a charge of contravening immigrant acts.

“The matter will not be investigated by the Hawks. It will continue with the local detectives”.

The remaining 13 suspects appeared on charges that are linked to illegal mining activities whilst some of them will also be charged with contravening the Immigration Act.

Nkwalase said the case against the 13 illegal mining suspects will be heard in the same court on 11 August for bail application.

A total of 37 of the 47 suspects in both courts were charged for contravention of Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005, Mining Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996, Mineral and Petroleum Recourses Development Act 28 of 2002 and then the Immigrations Act 13 of 2002 and theft and possession of stolen property.

Source: South African Government News Agency