Over the course of two days this week, 82 suspected undocumented individuals were apprehended at an abandoned mine and buildings in the North West as part of a coordinated operation organised by the Illicit Mining Task Force.
According to police sources, the operation attempted to maintain the integrity of the state’s boundaries by combating illegal activity and implementing immigration regulations.
Colonel Adéle Myburgh, a police spokesperson, said the task team stormed an abandoned mine site in Stilfontein on Tuesday.
“Acting on credible intelligence, the team apprehended a group of 24 suspects believed to be citizens of Lesotho”.
“Their lack of proper documentation was brought to the attention of the Department of Home Affairs.
Following that, on Thursday, August 17, 2023, the suspects appeared in Stilfontein Magistrates’ Court to face charges linked to their illegal presence in the country.
“Notably, one of the apprehended individuals was found to be in possession of illegal ammunition, further outlining the seriousness of the operation,” she confirmed.
The National Intervention Unit (NIU), K9, Tactical Response Team (TRT), Public Order Policing (POP), the Department of Home Affairs, and mine security were all involved in the combined operation, according to Myburgh.
On Wednesday, a second raid was carried out in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District. The Potchefstroom Wandellaan was raided by the police K9 unit, Mounted Unit, TRT, Flying Squad, POP, and Visible Policing units, who searched residential buildings in the area.
“Through searches of targeted buildings, a total of 58 suspected undocumented individuals, primarily of Malawian origin, were apprehended,” Myburgh said.