Three suspected rhino poachers  Mpumalang have been remanded in custody until 6th December for formal bail application.
Picture Credit: 123RF/Jacoba Susanna Maria Swanepoel

By Montsho Matlala

Skukuza: The three foreign nationals captured at Kruger National Park (KNP) on suspicion of attempted rhino poaching a week ago will make another bid for bail next month, nearly thirty days after their arrest.

The trio, Boy Vusi Sifunda 40 from Eswatini, Andrea Lubusi 45 from Mozambique and Bongani Ndlovu 41 also from Eswatini made their second appearance in the Skukukuza Magistrate’s Court on November 15 but could not plead for bail

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa told Timeless News, “Bail application did no proceed and was postponed to 6 December for formal bail application.”

The men, also under investigation for possible contravention of Immigration Act are expected to answer to charges including trespassing, possession of firearm, possession of firearm with intend to poach rhinos, possession of ammunition and conspiracy to commit rhino poaching.

They were arrested on November 7 in the bush at Stoltznek section after they were spotted by KNP’s dehorning team who were doing early morning air reconnaissance of the park to clamp down on poachers.

“The suspects were found in possession of a hunting rifle, fitted with a silencer, ammunition and other poaching equipment” said SA National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Ike Phaahla.

Warning other would be rhino poachers KNP’s managing executive Oscar Mthimkhulu said, “We have eyes and ears everywhere with our improved integrated security systems. This is a warning to all criminals, KNP is not a safe place to come and commit crime.”

Criminal syndicates infiltrate parks in the country to maim rhinos and harvest their horns for illicit trade in some Asian countries. The horns, it is believed are medicines to cures cancer and also used as potent long everlasting libido boosters.

Due to demand in these horns, South Africa is bearing the brunt of rhino poaching with 231 killed or injured for their horns during the period of January to June 2023, according to the national Department Forestry, Fishery and Environment.

Park rangers, police and other bodies dedicated to the protection of rhinos and anti-poaching activities in general often engage in deadly confrontations and court battles with criminal syndicates carrying out poaching and smuggling rhino horns out of the country.





Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *