A Northern Cape man found with a pangolin skin at a truck stop on the N14 Road in Upington was sentenced to a fine of R50,000.
Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Tebogo Thebe said that Zandray Dawids, 40, was arrested in January 2021 after being found with pangolin skin at a truck stop on N14 Road in Upington.
“Dawids was charged with possession of endangered species, transportation and trading in endangered species, as well as money laundering,” Thebe said.
On Wednesday, the Upington Regional Court sentenced Dawids as follows: "On the main charge of possession of endangered species, the court imposed a fine of R50,000.
“Transportation and trading in endangered species, sentenced to five years imprisonment, suspended for five years.
“On the last charge of money laundering, the accused was sentenced to five years imprisonment and also suspended for five years.”
Thebe further added that the court convicted and sentenced Dawids, after he and the State successfully negotiated a Section 105A plea.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world.
The eight species of pangolin, four in Africa and four in Asia, are under threat.
“Over the past decade, over a million pangolins have been illegally taken from the wild to feed demand in China and Vietnam.
“Their meat is considered a delicacy, while their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine as they are believed to treat a range of ailments, from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis,” the organisation said.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), two of the African species of pangolin are considered vulnerable, and two are endangered.
Of the Asian species, one is endangered, while the other three are critically endangered.