Fifteen years or R700,000 fine for illegal gold miner in Welkom

The Hawks have welcomed the sentence meted to a man who was found with unwrought gold and other goods in Welkom. Image: ALON SKUY

The Hawks have welcomed the sentence meted out by the Welkom Magistrate’s Court to a man who was found in possession of unwrought gold.

The court on Thursday sentenced Richard Khoza, 52, to a 15-year jail term – or the option of paying a R700,000 fine – for the illegal possession of unwrought gold.

Hawks spokesperson Capt Tlangelani Rikhotso said the Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit of the Hawks in the North West received information which led to a cottage rented out by Khoze in Thabong, Welkom, on February 11 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,” said Rikhotso.

Khoza appeared in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court, where he was denied bail. He was remanded in custody until his sentencing.

The gold and all the items seized have been forfeited to the state.

02 July 2019 – 17:24BY ERNEST MABUZA

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