ActionSA Commends SAPS on Lily Mine Arson Arrests

ActionSA is pleased by the news of further arrests made in the Lily Mine Arson case. The Mpumalanga SAPS at Low’s Creek Police Station have since informed our legal team that 5 further suspects have been arrested in this case.

This is after the initial arrest of accused number 1, Kaizer Gwebu, a convicted murderer was granted bail and released to roam freely while the Lily Mine families were subjected to living in fear.

Of great concern to us, and a matter of public interest, was how this individual was granted bail when, according to public records, Kaizer Gwebu had a long history of criminality. In January 2003, Gwebu was  convicted of murder, armed robbery, and illegal possession of a gun and ammunition, for which he was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment. Additionally, he was implicated in the torching of settlement where Lily Mine families have been staying, a clear violation of his bail conditions in force till 2033.

We had to act fast. While Gwebu was out on bail, together with his known accomplices, who had not been arrested, ActionSA was forced to submit a memorandum of demands to the Low’s Creek Police Station on 27 May 2021. In the memorandum, ActionSA demanded to:

  1. Know why the police took more than two weeks to arrest only one suspect when a mob, known to the community, was responsible for this criminal act?
  2. Know why was no action taken to stop the intimidation of the families and affected miners by the same group responsible for this arson attack?
  3. Get an update on the criminal charge laid by the families over 3 years ago regarding the collapse of the container because of negligence by the mine owners.

Following the submission of the memorandum of demands and our legal team’s letter questioning Gwebu’s bail, ActionSA is pleased to report that Gwebu’s bail has since been revoked and that he is back in police custody.

We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the SAPS for their responsiveness in this matter. Their actions are a strong demonstration that despite the deep rot in our criminal justice system, there are indeed good men and women within the system still committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting vulnerable members of our communities.

ActionSA remains steadfast in our commitment to assisting the Lily Mine families to have the container bearing the bodies of Yvonne Mnisi, Solomon Nyirenda, and Pretty Nkambule retrieved, so that their families can bury their loved one with dignity and that they may finally find closure.

We call upon all South Africans to join us in commending the efforts of the Low’s Creek Police, who’s actions deserve our collective praise for a job well done and for restoring all our faith that soon, justice for the Lily Mine families will be served.

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