A husband and wife who are police officers in Odendaalsrus were arrested for being in possession of gold and gold processing materials, Free State police said on Friday.
Spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said the couple’s house was searched by the K9 and Crime Intelligence Gathering units with the Odendaalsrus police on Thursday.
They found about 4kg of suspected gold bearing material, and equipment to process gold at the home on the Free State’s gold belt.
This included three big gas bottles, a hand-made fire stove for melting gold, two sets of burning torches, three gold weighing scales, and 40 gold melting pots, as well as a calculator.
The couple appeared in the town’s magistrate’s court on Friday, and the case was postponed to August 19 for further investigation.
Both were granted bail of R2000 each.
According to the Minerals Council of SA, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 specifically prohibits mining without the required statutory authorisation.
It is also illegal to be in possession of unwrought precious metal ore, platinum group metals, gold-bearing material and rough diamonds without the required statutory authorisation.
Illegal miners who remove the metals and minerals are known as “zama zamas” who mine with minimum equipment.