The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in Mpumalanga, in collaboration with a special illegal mining unit in the South African Police Service (SAPS), obtained a provisional preservation of property order, in the Mbombela High Court, in terms whereof they seized assets to the estimated value of more than R1,5 billion. The seized assets consist amongst others of a farm in the Carolina district, stockpiles/heaps of coal in two separate areas (coal ore material and “washed” coal), heavy-duty mining machinery (yellow machines), equipment and motor vehicles (heavy-duty trucks, etc), as well as the washing plant machinery and all movable buildings, machines, equipment, and motor vehicles used at Droog Valley farm Barrel Coal Processing and Washing Plant near Carolina, Mpumalanga area.

The assets were seized on the basis that it was, on reasonable grounds believed to be used as instrumentalities to commit various illegal large-scale coal mining and environmental offences at the farm in the Carolina area, and or that the assets are reasonable grounds to believe the proceeds of unlawful activities, and/or represents the proceeds of unlawful activities, namely the large-scale illegal coal mining and environmental offences.

The seizure, is the result of a joined multi-agency investigation and cooperation between the specialized SAPS illegal mining unit (Division Detective Service Organised Crime Investigation Unit in Gauteng), the Mpumalanga Organised Crime component at the Mpumalanga Director of Public Prosecutions’ office, the Mpumalanga Asset Forfeiture Unit, the enforcement section of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the enforcement section of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA).

The seizure of the property follows an illegal coal mine that was conducted at Portion 11 and Portion 12 of the farm Witkranz 53 IT (the farm) in the Carolina, Mpumalanga area. It is estimated that about 270 000 tons of coal was illegally mined at Portion 11, of the farm during a period of about 2 years from November 2021 to September 2023, by a company named GNJ Mining (Pty) LTD (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 and/or the DARDLEA 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.

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. The criminal case against both Boshoff and Jordaan was subsequently postponed to 16 February 2024, at the Carolina Magistrates’ Court. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *