NORTH WESTRichard Khoza (52) was sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment with an option of a R700 000 fine for illegal possession of unwrought gold worth more than R1 million on 27 June 2019.
The Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit of the Hawks in North West followed up on information which led them to the rental cottage of the accused in Thabong on 11 February 2019. Upon searching the room, unwrought gold, ropes,electric motors and packaged food worth approximately R700 000 was found. The food is believed to have been prepared for distribution to illegal miners.
Subsequent to the arrest, Khoza appeared at the Welcome Magistrate's Court where he was denied bail. He was remanded in custody until his sentence. The gold and all the items seized have been forfeited to the state.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Patrick Mbotho warned that activities associated with illegal mining are burdening the South African economy; as such the directorate will continue to work hard at cracking crimes associated with illegal mining.
Source: South African Police Service