Latest news

Dukwana elected as Free State legislature speaker

FORMER Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana has been elected...

Climate change, unpredictable rainfall exacerbate water woes

WATER is such a scarce commodity that it is...

Only three MECs retained as premier names new cabinet

MAQUEEN Letshoha-Mathae, the newly elected premier of the Free...

Mine worker sentenced for supplying goods to zama zamas

A WORKER at a Free State gold mine has been sentenced for supplying goods to illegal miners.

Domingos Julius Macucule, employed as a rock drill operator at Kopanang Mine in Vierfontein, a settlement that lies about 263 km north of provincial capital Bloemfontein, was arrested on 5 August 2022 after he was found in possession of batteries, tartaric acid and cigarettes concealed in bread and fruits.

He admitted he was supplying the contraband to illegal miners, also known as zama zamas, occupying at a shaft within the company’s operating area.

Macucule was charged for contravening the Mine Health Safety Act.

His trial commenced on 12 June 2023, with the prosecution calling four witnesses who testified on the arrest of the accused, the fact that the accused was a mine employee and was duly trained and inducted on items that are regarded as contraband by the mine and the consequences thereof.

They also testified on the financial implications for the mine when the zama zamas are sustained by employees, leading to them remaining underground for long periods and posing a danger to the employees and the shafts themselves due to violence and fire risks.

The witnesses further testified to the fact that transporting goods to the illegal miners was a lucrative business for the employees as they were paid anything between R5000 and up to R25000 for each successful delivery.

At the close of the state’s case, Macucule took to his defence and admitted all elements of the offence save to deny that he had acted unlawfully alleging that he was threatened by the illegal miners who threatened to kill him should he not bring down the contraband.

However, the court rejected his defence.

He was found guilty and sentenced, on 3 June this year, to a fine of R10 000 or six-month imprisonment.

This sentence is the first in the Free State province on the preferred charges.

“Due to the complexities arising from cases of illegal mining, it was difficult to charge the accused with other possible counts that were intended to curb this scourge of illegal mining, as the sentences which could be meted in the charges would be relatively minor as it was mostly common law offences,” National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said in a statement.

“The prosecutor, Mohlatlhego Mphasha, undertook a bit of research on the Mine Health Safety Act to see if there were no other charges that could not be formulated from the said Act, and then drew and drafted the charges as proffered against the accused in this matter.” – Staff Reporter

Latest

Dukwana elected as Free State legislature speaker

FORMER Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana has been elected...

Climate change, unpredictable rainfall exacerbate water woes

WATER is such a scarce commodity that it is...

Only three MECs retained as premier names new cabinet

MAQUEEN Letshoha-Mathae, the newly elected premier of the Free...

Letsoha-Mathae takes over as Free State premier

MAQUEEN Letsoha-Mathae has been elected as premier of the...

Newsletter

spot_img

Don't miss

Dukwana elected as Free State legislature speaker

FORMER Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana has been elected...

Climate change, unpredictable rainfall exacerbate water woes

WATER is such a scarce commodity that it is...

Only three MECs retained as premier names new cabinet

MAQUEEN Letshoha-Mathae, the newly elected premier of the Free...

Letsoha-Mathae takes over as Free State premier

MAQUEEN Letsoha-Mathae has been elected as premier of the...

CUT vice-chancellor among thought leaders at US tech summit

PROFESSOR Pamela Dube, the vice-chancellor and principal at Central...
spot_imgspot_img

Dukwana elected as Free State legislature speaker

FORMER Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana has been elected as speaker of the provincial legislature. He was sworn in on Wednesday, taking over from Ntombizanele...

Climate change, unpredictable rainfall exacerbate water woes

WATER is such a scarce commodity that it is impossible to increase supply – as such, demand and waste need to be monitored and...

Only three MECs retained as premier names new cabinet

MAQUEEN Letshoha-Mathae, the newly elected premier of the Free State, has announced her cabinet. The executive includes three MECs who served under the previous administration...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here