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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Two in court for allegedly trying to sell a lion's head

A former circus lion scratches its head against a tree inside an enclosure at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, northern, South Africa, Sunday, May 1, 2016. Thirty-three lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia are heading back to their homeland to live out the rest of their lives in a private sanctuary in South Africa. The operation is the largest ever airlift of lions, organized and paid for by Animal Defenders International. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

A former circus lion scratches its head against a tree inside an enclosure at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Vaalwater, northern, South Africa, Sunday, May 1, 2016. Thirty-three lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia are heading back to their homeland to live out the rest of their lives in a private sanctuary in South Africa. The operation is the largest ever airlift of lions, organized and paid for by Animal Defenders International. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Published Dec 13, 2021

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Rustenburg - Two people who were arrested after they were found in possession of a lion's head appeared briefly in the Zeerust Magistrate's Court in North West on Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

NPA spokesperson in North West, Henry Mamothame said the case against Joseph Modime, 59, and Emily Mashaba, 54, was postponed to December 20 for the verification of their addresses.

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'They are charged for the contravention of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 after they were caught in possession of a lion’s head," he said.

They were arrested following an intelligence tip-off that resulted in a sting operation by the Mahikeng based Serious Organised Crime Investigation team from the Hawks, Lehurutshe K9, Zeerust stock theft unit and members from the department of forestry, fisheries and environment.

The pair from Tembisa north of Johannesburg in Gauteng were reportedly seeking a traditional healer to sell the lion’s head to for an amount of R350 000.

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"The report further indicated that this sale was intercepted by a police agent who arranged a traditional healer, leading to the arrest of the two at a petrol station in Zeerust. A lion’s head was found in their possession, wrapped in refuse bags.

"Further investigations by the Hawks are underway and the duo will remain in police custody until their next court appearance," he said.

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