Phalaborwa - Three suspected rhino poachers charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition appeared in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Thursday, Limpopo police said.

Thomas Mogalaka, 32, and Madala Ndlovu, 20, were granted bail of R1000 each. However, Boy Mahlangu, 43, was denied bail and remained in custody, as his citizenship had yet to be verified, said Colonel Ronel Otto.

She said more charges could be added as investigations continued.

“...The rhino poaching charges were not added, because no rhino was shot and dehorned.”

They were arrested on Tuesday by police who set up roadblocks in the Majeje area, near Phalaborwa, after a tip-off.

Police searched the men's Toyota Corolla and found a .303 hunting rifle with ammunition, a silencer, and an axe. The vehicle was seized. - Sapa