parliamentANA reports that an African National Congress (ANC) MP on Wednesday responded to a statement by the acting director-general of mineral resources, David Msiza, that most illegal miners were foreigners, with a call to trap them underground.  

“We must seal the mines while they are down there, moreover they are not South Africans.. they are from Lesotho, somewhere,” Motswaledi Matlala told the portfolio committee on mineral resources.  He added that sentences for people convicted of illegal mining were too lenient and urged that they be jailed for a “minimum of 40, 50 years”.  Fellow ANC MP Mandla Mandela hastened to say that Matlala’s views were not supported by the ruling party.  Msiza said illegal mining activity would continue as long as there was little compelling companies to rehabilitate old mines, but added that law enforcement had become much stronger and jail sentences of between two and eight years had been imposed, compared to the negligible fines of years ago.

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