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Durban - Dismissed Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Thursday charged with 13 counts relating to illegal hunting.
The case was adjourned provisionally to November 8 for his legal team to obtain statements from the State and for his attorney, Viv Greene, to instruct an advocate to represent him.
Polela, dressed formally in a black suit and tie, was in and out of court in less than 10 minutes.
The charges related to two incidents in Himeville on February 7 and Besters, near Ladysmith, on April 9. In Himeville, at the Swamp Nature Reserve, he allegedly hunted a reedbuck and a grey duiker without a permit.
He was charged with hunting the game during the closed season.
Polela was also alleged to have hunted by means of a prohibited method, by using an artificial light. The hunt had taken place half-an-hour after sunset or half-an-hour before sunrise, for which he was also charged.
Another charge was hunting from a motor vehicle and another, hunting in a public road.
When asked to comment soon after this incident, Polela said he was hunting on his own communal land. Polela said he used a .308 rifle with a silencer and a spotlight. “I go hunting often. It is my passion. If you go in the middle of the night with a spotlight that’s called game shooting. I do both, of course.”
Polela said he did not see how it was illegal to shoot game on land owned, in part, by his family. He also denied any knowledge of the protected status of the reedbuck, saying he had “often” obtained a licence to hunt the species.
Although Polela was not found with any game on April 9, he faces similar charges to the first incident, but also for hunting in the closed season.
Of the incident, he said at the time that he was not a legal expert and would not be drawn into a debate. He said that his lawyer was busy dealing with the incidents.
Polela was suspended from the Hawks in November after he tweeted that supporters of convicted murderer and kwaito star Molemo “Jub Jub” Maaronhanye should supply him with a jar of Vaseline for his first night in jail.
Polela declined to comment on Thursday.