QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION NO.: 1550
DATE OF QUESTION: 08 JUNE 2012
1550. Mr J R B Lorimer (DA) to ask the Minister of Justice and
(1) Whether the State is currently prosecuting any cases related to
illegal mining; if not, why not; if so, (a) how many cases are
currently before court and (b) where;
(2) whether his department has communicated with the (a) Department of
Mineral Resources and (b) SA Police Service in order to identify
programmes for combating illegal mining; if not, why not, in each case;
if so, what are the relevant details in each case?
1) Yes. I wish to inform the Honourable Member that illegal mining, for
investigation and classification purposes, is divided into five
identifiable, complex and interlinked levels of criminal activities
ranging from level 1-5: level 1-individual criminal miners, level 2-
local gang bosses, level 3-buyers of stolen precious metals, level 4-
front company exporters based in South Africa and in some SADC
countries and level 5-international refineries and intermediary
The National Prosecuting Authority is prosecuting illegal mining cases
in the entire value chain of the criminal syndicate as set out above.
The most affected areas with regard to individual criminal miners are
Barberton, Westonaria and the Free State. Between January 2012 and May
2012, 20 cases were enrolled in the courts in Barberton and 16 in
Westonaria. In the Free State there are currently 67 cases on Welkom
court roll, 11 cases in Hennenman and 7 in Odendalsrus.
In addition, there are pending cases in the regional and high courts
wherein level 2-5 accused are charged with, amongst others, offences
under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, Act 121 of 1998
(Racketeering and Money laundering).
2) Yes. In 2009, the National Coordination and Strategic Management Team
(NCSMT) was formed to deal with and eradicate illegal mining. The
NCSMT uses a multi-disciplinary approach to address illegal mining.
Its primary members are the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of
Minerals and Resources, the Directorate for Priority Crime
Investigation, the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, the
State Security Agency, the South African Revenue Services, the
Financial Intelligence Centre, the South African Diamond and Precious
Metals Regulator, the Special Investigating Unit, and other secondary
members. The strategic objectives of the NCSMT are to:
â¢ Align and coordinate governmentâs efforts to combat illegal mining
and trafficking of precious metals;
â¢ Contribute to the realization of key outcome 3 (âAll people in South
Africa are and feel safeâ) through the prevention, investigation and
successful prosecution of cases of illegal mining and the
transnational trafficking of precious metals across the value chain;
â¢ Address policy issues relating to legislative reform;
â¢ Implement a regional and international strategy to eradicate the
illicit trade in precious metals; and
â¢ Enhance the capacity to effectively address illegal mining and the
trafficking of precious metals.
There are a number of programmes that have been put in place and
activities undertaken to combat illegal mining. The activities
relating to the engagement with the South African Police Service and
the Department of Mineral Resources includes, amongst others:
â¢ Hosting monthly meetings of the National Operating Committee of
NCSMT to consider projects and investigations conducted by the
South African Police Service;
â¢ Developing an Annual Performance Plan that identifies quarterly
targets for each department. The NCSMT secretariat monitors
monthly progress against the set targets;
â¢ Undertaking preventative measures to mitigate the threat of illegal
â¢ Coordinating and convening legislative sub-committee meetings to
coordinate the legislative review process.
The NCSMT submits quarterly progress reports to the Justice, Crime
Prevention and Security Directors-General Cluster.