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Suspected rhino poachers bust

Crime & Courts

Gravelotte - Two suspected rhino poachers are expected to appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Monday, Limpopo police said.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the men were arrested at 2.45am on Saturday morning in Gravelotte, east of the Limpopo.

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rhino was killed and its horn hacked off near Mossel Bay here in the Garden Route late yesterday. It was the only one on the game farm (the others were already sold off to keep poachers of the farm). The remaining rhino was however quite the celebrity over here because of his friendship with a pug named Madam Gigi

“The police received information that there was suspected poaching on a farm in Gravelotte,” he said.

“We found a rifle with the serial number filed off and the men were also carrying an axe and a panga. Police also confiscated the vehicle they were using.”

He said the docket was handed over to organised crime who were profiling the men.

The rifle was taken for ballistic testing to see if it was used for other criminal activity, he said.

“The men will appear on charges of attempted poaching and possession of an unlicensed firearm.”

Five men appeared in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Monday for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Thulani Siwela, 28, Doctor Ngwenyama, 36, Given Mashaba, 30, Vusi Matsane, 45, and Robert Sondlani, 38, would be back in court on April 2 for formal bail applications, Mulaudzi said.

The men were arrested in Gravelotte on last week Thursday night, while allegedly on their way to kill a rhino at a nearby game reserve.

During a search of their car, police found a hunting rifle with its serial number filed off, 20 rounds of live ammunition and three butcher knives.

Sapa

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