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Cops arrested for illegal hunting

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The SA Policing Union (Sapu) on Wednesday welcomed a new move to train all police officers in basic detective work.

Two uniformed policemen were arrested for using their service rifles and official vehicle to hunt and shoot a pregnant bushbuck on a farm outside Shelly Beach on the South Coast at the weekend.

The two, who cannot be named until they appear in court, are expected to be charged with hunting a wild animal without a permit.

They were on special leave pending a disciplinary hearing and criminal investigation.

Detlief Wichmann, who farms near Shelly Beach, was woken at 3am on Saturday by three shots.

“My wife and I went to investigate and saw a police van. As soon as we approached, it sped away.”

A chase followed and Wichmann cut off the police vehicle from an exit road.

“They obviously knew the farm, but I managed to stop them. I searched the vehicle and found a police-issue R5 rifle.”

The farmer then found that a second policeman had been left behind. He walked to a plantation where the man was allegedly hiding and heard heavy breathing.

“I thought it was the other cop, but it was a badly wounded bushbuck doe. She was heavily pregnant and drawing her last breaths.”

When Wichmann returned to his vehicle, he found the second policeman had emerged, surrounded by neighbouring farmers who had responded to his radio calls.

“We called the officer on duty at the Margate police station and an officer who is specifically assigned to our farms,” he said.

The doe carcass was taken to the state vet, who recovered a bullet.

SAPS Captain Thulani Zwane said the men were being charged with hunting a wild animal without a permit.

- The Mercury


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