An arrest by members of the South African Directorate for Priority Crime (also known as the Hawks), has led to the conviction of a man for illegal mining.
The Hawks received a tipoff that the Eerste Begin farm in Amalia, North West, was a spot for illegal mining. On December 1, 2016, a search was conducted at the farm. Bernhard van Niekerk, 62, was found to have four unpolished diamonds, worth R14 000 in his possession.
Van Niekerk was arrested and appeared in the Schweizer-Reneke District court on the same day. He was found guilty of illegal mining and the unlawful possession of unpolished diamonds.
The court on Tuesday sentenced van Niekerk to either one year in prison or payment of a R50 000 fine.