The charges against five of the eight informal gold miners arrested in early March at a mine in Benoni were dropped due to insufficient evidence on Thursday. They were initially charged with illegal possession of gold. The prosecution withdrew the case. The case against the remaining three - Oscar Hardlife Mukorera, Emanuel Moyana and Farai Mutswa - was postponed.
Informal gold miners work in a field in Kingsway, Benoni. On 3 March an informal gold miner was shot dead and eight others arrested by security guards. Archive photo: Kimberly Mutandiro
When the eight informal miners were arrested on 3 March, a fellow informal miner was shot dead by security.
New charges were brought against four of the accused – Vusi Dladla, Chamuonorwa Marozhi, Lazarus Glant Sithole and Wanted Marote – for living in South Africa in contravention of immigration law. All four pleaded guilty and were fined R800. Their family members and friends paid the fine.
“This is such a relief. I thank God that my husband has not been convicted. Life has not been easy while he was in prison,” said the wife of one of the miners who walked out a free man. She said she had raised the money for the fine by selling food to informal gold miners operating at Van Ryn mine in Benoni.
This article was orginally published on Ground Up.
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