The Skukuza Regional Court has handed down fines and jail time to three men linked to rhino poaching in the Kruger National park.
South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the conviction of Adolph Ndlovu and Abednigo Mahlabane, who have been charged for offences including trespassing and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
A third man, Jeffrey Mathebula, was sentenced for trespassing in a national park and fined R10,000 or two years imprisonment, of which half is suspended for five years.
SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said:
“It is very encouraging to note that the perpetrators are not just arrested, but they are also sentenced as it should be. This is a step in the right direction and it goes to show how this poaching scourge can be overcome if we all work together.”
The Hawks, South Africa’s serious organised crime unit, said on Thursday that it had arrested two Chinese nationals and a Taiwanese man who are alleged to be the masterminds behind a rhino poaching syndicate in Gauteng.
The operation came after the conclusion of a year-long investigation led by the Hawks in the Mpumalanga province, which successfully infiltrated a notorious Chinese syndicate trafficking rhino horns from SA to South East Asian countries.
This is a great victory for the fight on wildlife trafficking! Lets hope that the convictions continue and that the consequences continue to worsen.