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Gauteng Premier Urges Military Deployment as Region Faces Siege



Panyaza Lesufi

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has reiterated his call for urgent action to address the escalating crisis of illegal mining, emphasising the deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and other law enforcement agencies. In a recent media interview held on the sidelines of the African National Congress (ANC)’s national working committee meeting at Turffontein Racecourse, Lesufi highlighted the critical nature of the situation as reported by The Citizen.

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Lesufi underscored that Gauteng is facing a grave challenge characterised by a surge in violence and lawlessness, a direct consequence of unauthorised mining activities. He stressed the necessity for a robust response from relevant authorities to combat this threat effectively.

Describing the region as being “under siege,” Lesufi pointed out the inadequacy of relying solely on routine police patrols to address the crisis. He posed a rhetorical question, questioning the effectiveness of such patrols in the face of armed and unidentified individuals. He advocated for a collaborative and determined effort involving all available law enforcement entities, including the military.

“I am very firm on that,” Lesufi emphasised. He elaborated that the call for intervention extends not only to the army but also encompasses all law enforcement agencies’ collective firepower and capabilities. The objective is clear: to protect South Africans and preserve security.


Lesufi advocated for a targeted approach in dealing with illegal mining. He proposed that once deployed, the military should identify and address illegal miners who have sought refuge underground in abandoned mines. He highlighted that the challenge of monitoring these activities surpasses the scope of routine police work.

Recent enforcement actions have already yielded tangible results. A successful raid on illegal mining operations in Limpopo led to confiscating of eight generators, 11 jackhammers, and a water pump. This underscores the need for concerted efforts to dismantle illegal operations and curb associated criminal activities.

Additionally, an incident in Boilhill, Mjindini Trust, Barberton, highlighted the audacity of some illegal miners. One individual, who reportedly threatened to shoot police officers confronting him in a mine, was subsequently shot. This incident underscores the dangerous nature of the situation.

Last week, 24 undocumented individuals were apprehended in an abandoned mine in the North West, further emphasising the extent of the issue.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s renewed call for immediate action, including the involvement of the SANDF and other law enforcement agencies, underscores the severity of the illegal mining crisis. His emphasis on collaborative efforts and comprehensive response is indicative of the gravity of the situation and the determination to address it effectively.


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Gauteng Police Apprehend 50 Suspected Illegal Miners in Roodepoort

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Photo: Facebook / @Panyaza Lesufi

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