SA: Prosecutors say Zim illegal mining kingpin ‘is a flight risk’; luxury cars seized during raid

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  • An alleged zama zama kingpin was described as a flight risk.
  • An immigration officer maintained that Dumisa Moyo was not a local citizen.
  • The State claimed Moyo frequented neighbouring countries with a fraudulently obtained passport.

SOUTH AFRICA: One of the six alleged illegal mining kingpins arrested in Carletonville and Khutsong has recently been described as a “persona non grata”, who should not be granted bail.

The prosecutor, Tholoana Sekhonyana, told the Oberholzer Magistrate’s Court in Carletonville on Wednesday that Dumisa Eric Moyo was a flight risk.

Sekhonyana disputed pleas by the defence advocate, Jurg Huysamen, for Moyo to be granted bail.

“The onus rests on the accused to convince the court to release him on bail. His charges are prevalent in the country. He gave false information to Home Affairs officials.

“There are no records of him attending two schools in Thabong, where he claimed he attended. He didn’t produce report cards, confirming that he attended those two schools. Bongani Hospital, where he claimed he was born in 1987, was officially opened in 1993. He is a person (sic) non grata.”

Sekhonyana added that Moyo had failed to convince the court he was born in Welkom.

READ | One of 6 alleged illegal mining kingpins fraudulently obtained ID, court hears

“We know that he has a passport. He has access to neighbouring countries. He is a flight risk. The offences levelled against him are serious. He frequents Zimbabwe. He will never come back to South Africa should he be granted bail.

“All of the six accused, including Moyo, are linked to the offences through an operation that started in 2018. There is video and audio evidence linking Moyo to the offences. Their modus operandi was followed since 2018. The Hawks thoroughly infiltrated them,” Sekhonyana said.

Sekhonyana pleaded with the court to consider the country’s interests.

The suspects during a recent court appearance

She added that illegal mining is crippling the country’s economy.

The Department of Home Affairs’ immigration officer, Mothusi Letsogo, testified that, during his consultation with Moyo on 4 October, he claimed that his mother was a Zimbabwean national.

“He told me that his mother was buried in Zimbabwe. He is a Zimbabwean national too. Based on this information and other information I obtained from a primary and secondary school, I say he was born in Zimbabwe, not in South Africa.

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“He married a South African woman on 28 December 2015. During our interview, I told him that he could assist me willingly. If not, I will investigate his past, which I did,” Letsogo said.

He said the Moremaphofu Primary School and Lephola Secondary School, as well as Bongani Hospital, denied having Moyo in their records.

South African national

Huysamen maintained that his client was a South African citizen, with an identity document issued by the home affairs department.

“We don’t know the circumstances of how his ID was issued. Nothing confirms that he is from Zimbabwe. He was born in South Africa. He is a married father. His citizenship is not in dispute. He owns a business that employs seven people.”

READ | Cars worth millions seized as Hawks arrest suspected illegal mining kingpins

“He has people dependent on him. If he were detained, it would be a catastrophe. He has no pending cases, previous convictions, nor an outstanding warrant of arrest.”

Huysamen said nothing illegal was found in Moyo’s possession when he was arrested.

“He has done nothing wrong,” said Huysamen.