The Asset Forfeiture Unit in Kimberley has obtained a preservation order against the properties of alleged illegal miners, with an estimated value of more than R960 000, that were attached during a multi-disciplinary raid that was led by the South African Police Service. According to a police statement, these assets are said to be the proceeds of illegal mining activities conducted by the illegal miners in Kleinzee, situated approximately 62km from Port Nolloth. According to the statement, On 06 July 2022, the SAPS, led by the office of the Deputy Provincial Commissioner in Kimberley, conducted the police operation in the area. The main purpose of the operation was to address the illegal mining activities on the mining premises of De Beers Mine. The raid was informed by complaints and reports from communities who had complained about increasing levels of crime in their previously quiet and peaceful town. The owners of the mine, the De Beers Diamond Consortium of Mines, through its representatives, had previously sought intervention from the High Court of South Africa in Kimberley, in its quest to evict illegal miners from their mine. The high court granted an order that the illegal miners must vacate the premises. Most of the illegal miners ignored the said order, and in the process damaged the notice boards informing them of this court order. The mine owned by the mining company was closed almost 13 years ago, and according to previous reports made by De Beers representatives, the reason they suspended mining activities was because it was too expensive for the company to continue mining in the area.
Journalist: Rodrick Titus