It looks like the residents of a small village in KwaZulu-Natal have struck gold.
Or at least that’s what they think it is.
Hundreds of men, women and children of various ages in KwaMachi, located in Harding in the far south of the province, were found digging for what they believe was “gold” with an assortment of digging tools on Wednesday.
The site where it was discovered “had been identified to be dug up for quarry stones that would be used to pave the gravel roads in the area”, but instead the workers discovered material that looked a lot like gold. The unusual find was reported to the Ingonyama Trust Board, which then instructed that the site be secured.
Since then, at least 5 000 people abuzz with gold frenzy gathered at the site on Monday night, and it didn’t take long for the news to soon spread to other provinces.
Gold diggers, buyers and schoolchildren from surrounding villages joined in on the action, arriving in scores of bakkies, private cars and minibus taxis on Tuesday night, reports News24.
This is what the site looked like by Wednesday:
— Mxolisi Mngadi (@EmExDurban) May 30, 2018
Insane. But here’s the million rand question: is it real gold?
Hamza Manuel, aged 25, of Harding who arrived at the village with his friends to join in the rush, told News24 that he thinks it’s the real deal:
We found gold here in Harding. The evidence is right here. As you can see, these stones have got a little bit of gold in them. Some people are actually finding bigger pieces. This is just a small sample of what’s in there. There’s actually gold here.
This is what the gold looks like up close:
Not exactly golden, I must admit.
But apparently, the diggers are making quite a bit of mint out of the whole business.
Zithobe Radebe from Umzimkhulu [pictured above] said that he would sell his almost fist-sized “gold” stone that he dug up on Wednesday for R300. Given that there’s no employment opportunities in Harding, he’s going to keep digging for these stones.
Another digger, Nolwazi Jali – a Grade 10 pupil at Albert Secondary School at the nearby KwaJali village – told News24 that she had skipped school to come and dig, and that she had sold R450 worth of the “gold” to a Pakistani businessman at the site.
Sjoe, if that’s how they’re making a quick buck, I’d scoot on down there myself.
But it seems like the Harding police aren’t making it easy for prospectors:
The police were busy erecting a barbed wire fence around the area when News24 got to the site. Per the area’s inkosi, Mthetho Machi:
Police have been deployed in the area, but they can’t deal with the high number of people who go to the site. Today there was a boy who was injured when a rock fell on him and he was rushed to hospital.
People from outside the area are coming in their cars in large numbers to buy the gold. That’s making the situation worse.
So what’s going to happen? Is it gold or nah?
Samples of the stones had been taken to Pretoria for testing, although it’s unknown when the results will be released.
‘Til then, it looks diggers are going to continue taking advantage of this golden opportunity that’s come their way.
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