SIX GOLD PANNERS JAILED

SIX illegal gold panners have each been sentenced to two years in jail for illegal mining.
Charles Sibanda (28), Mduduzi Moyo (28), Fortune Dlamini (35), Bekithemba Tshuma (20), Proud Ngwenya (25) and Justice Ndlovu (29) were convicted on their own plea of guilty to prospecting for any mineral without a licence by Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi.
Prosecuting, Mr Takunda Mafudze said the gang was apprehended on October 30 at Old Sally Mine in Colleen Bawn.

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“A report was made at Colleen Bawn police station about a group of people that were illegally panning for gold at Old Sally Mine. Police officers went to the mine to investigate and they found the six men still ]working in the mine shaft.

“The police approached them and asked them to produce documentation authorising them to work at the mine but they did not have any resulting in their arrest,” he said.

Police in Matabeleland South Province recently arrested 48 illegal gold panners and six illegal forex dealers during a seven day operation against illegal activities in the province.
Acting provincial police spokesperson, Sergeant Thandolwenkosi Moyo said most arrests had been recorded in Esigodini area.

The operation was mainly targeting Esigodini, Colleen Bawn, Filabusi, Matobo and Fort Rixon areas as these places are where a lot of illegal mining activities have been taking place.

Sgt Moyo said the police would continue conducting patrols in a bid to contain illegal activities in the province.

He urged miners to desist from illegal activities as they had to regularise their operations.
Sgt Moyo said illegal forex dealings had to end as people were expected to take their monies to the banks.

Police launched the operation following an increase in illegal mining activities in the province which have been mainly reported in Gwanda and Esigodini areas, which have resulted in bloodshed.

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