- The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit, in collaboration with a special illegal mining unit in the South African Police Service, has obtained a provisional preservation of property order for the seizure of assets to the estimated value of more than R1.5 billion from an illegal coal mining operation in Carolina, Mpumalanga.
The frozen assets include a farm in Carolina, coal, cars and heavy duty machinery used at an alleged illegal mine in Mpumalanga.
National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said an estimated 270 000 tons of coal was allegedly mined illegally at on two portions of the farm over a two year period by a company named GNJ Mining.
“At a minimum estimated market value price of R980 per ton, the estimated 270 000 tons that were illegally mined amounted to about R264 million worth of coal, that was illegally mined at the farm during the 2 years.
“GNJ Mining never had lawful authorisation/permit from the DMRE [Department of Mineral Resources] and/or the DARDLEA [Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs] to mine coal at the farm. The illicit coal that was mined at the farm was taken to Droogvalley Barrel Plant (Droogvalley) in the Carolina area, where the coal was processed and “washed” to prepare it for sale to GNJ Mining’s coal-using clients,” she said.
Nyuswa explained that the seizure comes after a man was arrested following a raid on a farm. “Following credible information, the SAPS held an operation at the farm on Tuesday 19 September 2023, where they saw the magnitude of the illegal coal mining operation at the farm and Droogvalley. On the day, the SAPS arrested the illegal Mine Manager Paul Boshoff (Boshoff) and seized most of the mentioned assets at the farm and Droogvalley. Boshoff was arrested on 19 September 2023 and appeared in court the following day,” she said.
The criminal case is expected to be heard on 16 February 2024 in the Carolina Magistrates’ Court.