A white rhinoceros and her calf spotted in the Pilanesberg National Park in the North West in this April 19, 2012 file photo. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings.
A white rhinoceros and her calf spotted in the Pilanesberg National Park in the North West in this April 19, 2012 file photo. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings.

SA court hands three rhino poachers hefty sentences

By Karen Singh Time of article published Oct 24, 2021

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DURBAN - The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said the 85-year sentences handed down to three rhino poachers reflected the severity of the crimes and sent a clear message to those involved in poaching activities in south Africa.

Mozambican nationals, Arlindo Muhlanga, Adam Hlongwane and Gamula Chauke were convicted on 10 charges each.

These included three charges of illegal hunting of the three white rhino cows, illegally removal of rhino horns, illegal possession and conveyancing of six rhino horn in contravention of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, illegal possession of firearms and ammunitionand trespassing in a protected area.

In a statement today, the department said the men were arrested in 2018 following the poaching and dehorning of the rhino cows in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, located in the Bojanala Region within the North West.

It said the men were found in possession of six rhino horn, an axe, firearms and ammunition. The bakkie they were travelling in was also confiscated.

The department said the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

“The court took into account the fact that the three had been imprisoned for three years while awaiting completion of their trial. They will therefore serve an effective 35 years in prison,”

All three poachers have been declared unfit to possess a firearm, it said.

The department welcomed the hefty sentence handed down.

“This reflects the severity of the crimes involved in the poaching of rhino in South Africa and sends a clear message to those involved in these unlawful activities,” it said.

THE MERCURY

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