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PRETORIA – The Delmas Regional Court sentenced a foreign national, Prince Sitole (18) to five years imprisonment or a R50 000 fine for contravening the Precious Metals Act yesterday, 13 April 2021.

In January this year, the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime team arrested two suspects Prince Sitole(18) and Sharon Mpofu (25) at a farm in Sundra after they were found operating two illegal gold refinery laboratories with three phendukas each. Police recovered 700 kilograms of gold-bearing material and equipment with an estimated value of R100 000.

The suspects were kept in custody throughout the trial until their conviction. Sitole was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. The recovered gold-bearing material has been forfeited to the State.

Mpofu was acquitted on all the charges whereas Sitole was further sentenced to five imprisonment which was suspended for four years.