20 March 2017
High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Western Cape Division, Cape Town
Case no. 18701/16
Date: 20 March 2017
This matter concerned the validity of a search warrant issued by the Magistrate for the District of Vredendal to officials in the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for the search for documents and things related to alleged contraventions of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (NEMA) and the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (NEMICMA) at Tormin Mine, a mine operated by Mineral Sands Resources (Pty) Ltd.
The issuing of a search warrant was set aside by the Court, primarily on the basis that the DEA lacked jurisdiction to bring an application for a search warrant as the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is now the chief functionary for monitoring compliance with and enforcing environmental laws in the mining sector.