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LT GEN. THABETHE MPEMBE, Free State
police commissioner, has called for a
complete shutdown of dysfunctional mine
shafts in the Goldfields, as well as the
tightening of security at such shafts.
He expressed these strong sentiments last
Tuesday at the media briefing in Welkom
following the polices intensive anti-illicit
gold crackdown which resulted in the
busting of about 38 illegal gold dealers.
The suspects were arrested in the Gold-
fields towns of Welkom, Virginia and
Odendaalsrus by the joint task team compris-
ing Crime Intelligence, the Tactical Response
Team, as well as the Mining Industry and
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
(DPCI), also known as the Hawks.
The suspects, some of whom have been
identified as foreigners from Mozambique,
Zambia and Zimbabwe, began appearing in
the Welkom Magistrates Court last Thurs-
day. They are facing charges of illegally
dealing in gold.
What needs to be done, is to completely
close down unused mine shafts and beef-up
security there, as some people have been
requesting. These shafts are a fertile ground
for criminals and elicit gold syndicates,
Integrated forces that will include the
Department of Mineral Resources and local
municipality, as well as the police, have to
come together in closing down these shafts
and also demolish all unoccupied mine
hostels which are used to harbour criminals
and illegal gold dealers.
We are confident we are making signifi-
cant progress in dealing with the challenge
of illicit gold mining in the region.
Mpembe said the busting of 38 suspected
gold dealers, including underground diggers,
was a breakthrough in curbing illicit gold
that has also seen police officers involved.
The arrest of the suspected illegal gold
dealers was preceded by the busting of 25
people, which included 19 police officers and
6 civilians in the Goldfields town mid-Sep-
tember. They are facing charges ranging
from corruption to money laundering.
Mpembe attributes the success in arrests
to the ability of the anti-crime system of the
law enforcement agencies.
The arrest of civilians, illegal gold
dealers syndicates and members of the
police who we believe have been colluding in
illicit gold crimes is an indication that we
have improved ways of detecting criminals.
We are improving in all methods of
investigation and use of technology to break
into the sophisticated methods of crime
syndicates. We are very confident that we
are going to get to the bottom of illicit gold
mining and dealing in the Free State. It is a
fact that crime syndicates use sophisticated
means too in their mission.
The police have further clammed down on
suspected illegal gold dealers, impounding
their various luxury vehicles, some of which
are believed to have been utilized in the
transit of gold and purchased with cash
generated from elicit gold transactions.
Butana Komphela, MEC for Police, Roads
and Transport, said they were gunning for
More arrests will follow. The public will
see what luxurious lives these people live in
their houses when the Asset Forfeiture Unit
confiscates their assets, said Komphela.
Close these shafts down
Mpembe lauds strides made in curbing illicit gold dealing
CRACKDOWN: Representatives of the Free State police law enforcement are from the left Butana Komphela, MEC for Police, Roads
and Transport, Lt Gen. Thabethe Mpembe, Free State police commissioner, and Maj. Gen. Lerato Molale, Thabong Cluster commander.
Here they are inspecting impounded vehicles of suspected gold dealers at the Virginia pound. Photo: Teboho Setena
2 EXPRESS, WEDNESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2014
THE Womens Network of the Lejweleput-
swa region, comprising members of
various law-enforcement agencies, reflected
on strides made this year at a gala dinner
held at the Goldfields Casino last Friday.
In attendance were members of the
South African Police Service (SAPS), units
of Matjhabeng Security, Traffic and
By-Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, as
well as the Provincial Departments of
Traffic and Correctional Services. The
Emergency Medical Services also attended.
Apart from acknowledging the achieve-
ments reached during 2014, the women
celebrated and appreciated womanhood.
Women attending the event were encour-
aged to continue with the mammoth task
of carrying responsibility in the communi-
ty. Speakers included Apaphia Modise,
provincial champion brigadier, and
Mathabo Leeto, MEC for Sport, Arts,
Culture and Recreation.
Women as law enforcement officials
play a vital role in the social and mental
health of our communities. A big responsi-
bility rests on their shoulders, said Col
Cynthia Molale of the Thabong Cluster
Women work long hours in difficult and
dangerous environments, ensuring that the
communities of Lejweleputswa are safe
and secure. They also carry the responsi-
bility of being mothers, wives and sisters
who take care of their families.
Further encouraging the women, Modise
emphasised the importance for women to
Women must study in order to be in
strategic positions in the police ranks,
She also highlighted the significance of
womens dress code in the work place.
Women must stand together against
the rape of women and children, Leeto
Women must appreciate the way they
are and their looks.
Also gracing the occasion were Jemina
Mtimkulu, representative of the Free State
Department of Education, and Rito Madin-
gana, the newly-crowned Vista Miss
Womens role in community saluted
COL CYNTHIA MOLALE of the Thabong Cluster Womens Network and Rito Madingana,
Vista Miss Goldfields 2014. Photos: Supplied
JEMINA MTIMKULU, representative of the Free State Department of Education, and Brig.
Apaphia Modise at the Womens Network of Lejweleputswas gala dinner.
Farmers murder suspect in court
One of the murder suspects of the
Odendaalsrus farmer Pule Joseph
Motsamai is expected to re-appear in the
Odendaalsrus Magistrates Court on 21
November while the police are still
looking for four accomplices who are still
on the run. He is facing charges of
murder, house robbery and rape. The
suspect is one of the five men wanted
regarding the killing of the 69-year-old
farmer, robbery and the alleged rape of
five daughters of his on 30 October. The
Hawks caught Motsamai earlier this
month thus making a breakthrough in
the crime in which the assailants shot
the deceased three times and thereafter
allegedly sexually assaulted the de-
Capt. Stephen Thakeng, spokesperson
of the Welkom police, said the attackers
had taken the deceaseds belongings, a
safe with an undisclosed amount of cash,
revolver and a vehicle which they had
used to flee after the brutal attack. The
vehicle was found abandoned on the
Erdeel Road towards Thabong in
Welkom. Anyone with information
helpful in the arrest of the four suspects
and their prosecution and conviction,
must contact the investigative officer,