Durban: Two people who were allegedly caught with a lion’s head have been granted bail.
According to National Prosecution Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame, Joseph Modime, 59, and Emily Mashaba, 54, were released on bail after appearing at the Zeerust magistrate’s court on Monday.
They are charged with contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA).
“The matter was postponed to 16 February 2022 for further investigations,” Mamothame said, adding that the pair were granted bail under strict conditions.
“They should refrain from interacting with state witnesses, they should avail themselves on their next court appearance (and) failure to do so will result in a warrant of arrest being issued against them,” he said.
The pair were nabbed following a sting operation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) in Mahikeng, the Lehurutshe K9 unit, the Zeerust stock theft unit and officials from the department of forestry, fisheries and environment.
According to the Hawks, the two were nabbed while travelling from Tembisa in Johannesburg, allegedly seeking a traditional healer to sell the lion’s head to for R350 000.
The sale was allegedly intercepted by a police agent who arranged a traditional healer, leading to the arrest of the two at a petrol station in Zeerust.
The lion’s head was found in their possession, wrapped in refuse bags.