A GROUP of illegal gold miners on Tuesday invaded Tebekwe Mine in Shurugwi where they reportedly disarmed a security guard before handcuffing and severely assaulting him and his colleague using logs and iron bars.
Police in Shurugwi swiftly moved in and arrested eight suspects, some of whom were reportedly advancing towards the milling plant where they wanted to steal gold.
According to the mine manager, Mr Thamsanqa Maseko, the illegal miners were armed with iron bars and machetes and threatened to harm everyone at the mine.
They ordered the milling plant to stop running and declared that they were taking over the mine.
They were about 50, the majority armed with machetes and iron bars, said Mr Maseko. They went around the mine’s milling plant singing and stressing that they were taking over the mine.
We did not know that there was another group, which had attacked the security guards at the mine entrance.
Mr Maseko said police swiftly responded to their emergency calls and arrived at the scene to find the two security guards, including the one who was in handcuffs, being assaulted.
Upon seeing a police truck, the illegal miners fled in different directions, but police managed to arrest eight of them, he said.
One of the security guards was stabbed in the ear with a sharp object and was taken to Shurugwi District Hospital where he was admitted.
The other security guard who was disarmed and handcuffed was beaten with iron bars all over the body, said Mr Maseko. The handcuffs were later removed at Shurugwi Police Station.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko confirmed the incident, but said he was still to get full details from officers in Shurugwi.