TWO Zimbabwean women have been arrested in South Africa for illegally possessing mining explosives, emulsion blasting cartridges and case fuses with an estimated street value of over R1,2 million.
The explosives in question had been smuggled into South Africa through illegal points.
The Limpopo Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team arrested two women, aged 27 and 41, for unlawful possession of explosives in Thohoyandou on February 12, 2020.
“The team received a tip-off about two women from Zimbabwe who were in possession of explosives destined for Gauteng. The two people matching the description of the suspects were spotted in one of the lodges in Thohoyandou and their movements were constantly monitored,” said South Africa Police Services (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke.
“The suspects were arrested as they were about to board a bus to Gauteng.”
The illegal explosives were then recovered from them.
The women, who had allegedly entered South Africa illegally, are set to appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court soon.
They will face charges of unlawful possession of explosives and contravention of the Immigration Act.
This is not the first time that Zimbabweans have been arrested in South Africa while in possession of explosives.
In November last year, a 34-year-old man from Bulawayo was arrested by the South African police at the Beitbridge Border Post for attempting to smuggle mining explosives into that country.
The explosives were concealed in four 20-litre plastic containers carried on a trailer of a car.
South African police in April last year, arrested a 38-year-old woman at Beitbridge Border Post, who was smuggling an assortment of explosives worth thousands of rands into the neighbouring country.
She was travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
In June last year, the Zimbabwe Republic Police intercepted a bus along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway and recovered more than 750 explosives worth $5 800 believed to have been on the way to South Africa.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was quoted saying police officers at a roadblock along the Harare–Beitbridge Highway, stopped a bus on June 7, 2019 at around 2am, which was travelling from Harare to Beitbridge, at the 209km peg.
Routine searches conducted led to the recovery of 660 super 90 Jelly tubes (Explogels), 100 capped fuses and 2 rolls igniting cables weighing 15kg.