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Klerksdorppolice act against zama zamas
26 Aug 2015

 
Klerksdorp – The police in the Klerksdorp Cluster have made significant arrests duringongoing operations to combat and prevent acts of brazen criminality by illegal miners, also known as zama-zamas since Wednesday, 19 August 2015.
Col SabataMokgwabone, police spokesperson, said the arrests emanate from various crimes by rival groups of Zama Zamas ranging from murder, attempted murder and theft. In the first case, the police arrested three suspects following a murder of one of the zamazamas on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 in Khuma, in what the police believe to be a turf war planned killing. The deceased and the suspects are all Lesotho nationals and they are believed to be members of two rival Lesotho groups, namely the Terene and Matlamas. The suspects appeared in the Stilfontein Magistrates Court on Monday, 24 August 2015 on charge of murder and they were remanded in custody for further investigation until Monday, 31 August 2015. 
In the second case, nine zamazamas - four Lesotho nationals and five South Africans - were arrested on Thursday, 20 August 2015, after an operation by members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT).These arrests follow after complaints to the Stilfontein police that armed groups of zamazamas were targeting and stealing cables and other scrap metals from the Duff Scott hospital premises. Unbeknown to these zamazamas, whose modus operandi is to attack orsimply chase away deployed private security officials, members of the Klerksdorp TRT were already in the area and arrested them after being found in possession of suspected stolen steel bars as well as tools such as gas bottles and grinders believed to be used in the commission of these crimes.
All nine have appeared before the Klerksdorp Magistrates’ Courtand were denied bail.They are expected to appear in court again on Monday, 31 August 2015. 
Mokgwabone said in addition to theft, the police will investigate their legal status in the country as well the possibility of preferring other charges in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 1998 (ACT NO.121 OF 1998) for their membership and involvement in gang related crimes. 
In a third case, the police made what they believe to be a crucial breakthrough in their on-going blitz against zamazamas and crime in general in the Klerksdorp area. Acting on information, members of Khuma Crime Prevention unit arrested MokhutlisiKhailen(24) after he was found in possession of large quantity of ammunition and a firearm telescope which have been identified as products of Frontier Shooting range company. He allegedly stole these items from a Klerksdorp house where he worked as a gardener. He appeared in court on Monday, 24 August and he has been remanded in custody pending further investigation until 13 October 2015.
Major General Patrick Asaneng, Klerksdorp Cluster Commander, warned the Zama Zamas that they will be brought to book.
He added that the fact that a South African was arrested in possession of large quantity of ammunition is not only a contravention of the Firearms Control Act by him but also by his employer who obviously failed to comply with the said law by first taking such ammunition home and failing to safeguard it. He also warned unscrupulous metal dealers who are providing a maket for illegally obtained metal, that their days are numbered.
•More than 200 tons of gold concentrate was discovered in a factory in Potchefstroom on Monday, 17 August 2015. The Special Investigating Unit (Hawks) made the discovery in the granite factory during an operation against illegal mining syndicates. The Hawks are now tracing two suspects. They also know where the concentrate comes from but this is part of an ongoing investigation into illegal mining operations.