Ex-cop in court for rhino poaching

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Middelburg - A former police officer accused of being a rhino poaching kingpin appeared in the Middelburg Regional Court in Mpumalanga on Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority said.

The case against Joseph Nyalunga was postponed to Tuesday as the defence had brought an application to transfer the case to another court in the Lowveld, which could possibly be in Nelspruit, spokesman Nathi Mncube said.

“The court has to wait for the ruling of the regional court president,” he said.

Nyalunga was released on R30,000 bail.

Nyalunga and another alleged poacher, Conrad Nkuna, were arrested in December 2011 while returning from Mpumalanga to Gauteng, Mncube said at the time.

Proceeds of illegal rhino poaching amounting to R8.1 million was seized at the time of the arrest.

The money was found in their Range Rover when they were stopped and searched by police near Middelburg.

Apart from the R8.1 million, the 2009 Range Rover and a 2009 Toyota Fortuner were also seized.

“These vehicles will be sold and the proceeds thereof will also be paid to the ECIU (SANParks's Environmental Crime Investigation Unit),” Mncube said.


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