Mahikeng – A 62-year-old man has been sentenced to one year in prison for illegal mining and the unlawful possession of unpolished diamonds in the Schweizer-Reneke District Court in North West.Bernhard van Niekerk was given the option of paying a R50 000 fine as an alternative to jail when he appeared in court on Tuesday.

The Hawks arrested Van Niekerk in December, following a tip-off about illegal mining on a cattle farm called Eerste Begin farm in the small town of Amalia, near Vryburg.

He was arrested during a raid on the farm, after being found with four unpolished diamonds with an estimated value of R14 000 in his possession.

Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said that the suspect had appeared in the Schweizer-Reneke District Court on the day of his arrest, but was released on bail before making a series of subsequent appearances in court.

Source: North West man gets 1-year sentence for illegal mining | News24