By Jonk wa Mashamba
The Orkney Magistrates’ Court postponed the case against eighty seven suspects who are facing charges related to illegal mining at shaft 2 in Orkney to 19 January 2022 for further investigations and a regional court decision.
Owing to the serious nature of this case, the state has applied for it to be transferred to the regional court for trial.
According to Henry Mamothame
NPA Spokesperson , he status verification of these miners was completed.
“It was established in their previous court appearance that all 87 had no legal documents to be in the country. Their attorney also indicated that they will not be applying for bail based on their illegal status in the country.
“The accused are facing charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition, illegal possession of gold, theft and conspiracy to commit an offence,” said Mamothame.
Police reports indicate that eight of the accused were wounded and six fatally wounded during a shootout with members of the Special Task Force assisted by Hawks Organised Crime in North West, in an intelligence driven operation on Wednesday, 20 October 2021.
Of the eight who were injured during the shootout only two are still under police guard receiving medical attention. The court proceeded again in their absence.
Police reports revealed that from this operation, a number of items were discovered, including two Mini-busses, Illegal mining paraphernalia, gold bearing material, eleven Illegal firearms (3 x shotguns, 3 x rifles, 4 x pistols and 1 x revolver) and bags of food.
The suspects will remain in police custody until their next court appearance.