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“Rouge” miners cause havoc

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This “rogue” group is acting out of spite because they were forced to leave Greenpoint

File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

A “ROGUE” group of artisanal miners has been blamed for the outbreak of violence on the Boshof Road yesterday, which saw the road being closed to motorists after a truck was set alight.

“They (the group) are not our people,” Elisa Louw, a spokesperson for the artisanal miners, said yesterday. “They were removed from Greenpoint and they have now come to cause havoc amongst our miners. We called the police on Monday to have them arrested, but they still made their way over here.”

Louw believes that this “rogue” group is acting out of spite because they were forced to leave Greenpoint. “We will deal with them in our own way,” she said.

Louw added that the artisanal miners were at the point of signing an agreement with the landowner as a new piece of land had been made available. “Now I hear they want to evict us because of this rogue element.”

It is alleged that the miners, who made their way from Greenpoint, set a truck alight on the Boshof road yesterday afternoon. The police blockaded the road for most of the afternoon while forensic investigators worked on the scene.

Later in the afternoon, Louw said that the “rogue” group of miners had set fire to her office in the informal settlement. “I’m extremely traumatised. I had to be escorted out of the settlement by police.”

Smoke could be seen rising out of the settlement.

“We told the police to arrest them and we don’t want to join forces with them,” Louw added.

The police said yesterday that they were investigating a case of malicious damage to property after a truck was set alight.

“We could not speak to the driver of the truck as the doctor treating him refused us access. So at this point we are only investigating a case of malicious damage to property,” police spokesperson Captain Tessa Jansen said.

She added that the police were called out to the road that goes to Boshof after a complaint was received that artisanal miners were throwing stones at passing vehicles.

“When the police got there, they found the burning truck. Following a forensic investigation by the forensic and explosive units they could not find evidence of a petrol bomb or other explosive device. Burnt matches were found under the diesel tank,” Jansen said.