5 alleged rhino poachers in Limpopo court

2015-04-14 09:45
White rhino. (File, AP)

White rhino. (File, AP)

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Polokwane - Five alleged rhino poachers have appeared in the Phalaborwa Magistrate’s Court, Limpopo police said on Tuesday.

The five, who were arrested in two incidents in the Gravelotte area over the weekend, had their cases postponed to April 20, spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said.

Three of them were arrested on a nature reserve in the Harmony area around 21:00 on Saturday. Police had been tipped off that they were about to shoot a rhino. Their car was stopped on a gravel road and a .303 rifle with a silencer, 12 rounds of ammunition, two axes and knives were confiscated.

The other two were caught later. In their car, police found a .375 hunting rifle, two silencers, ammunition, an axe, panga, and knife. The serial numbers of both rifles had been filed off. 

Arrests

Police have arrested 21 suspected poachers in Limpopo since the beginning on March.

“With the exception of only one incident in the Bela Bela area, members managed to arrest the suspected poachers before they were able to shoot and dehorn the animals,” Otto said.

In March, the Thabazimbi Magistrate’s Court sentenced three poachers to lengthy prison terms after they pleaded guilty to trying to shoot and dehorn a rhino on a farm in the Cumberland area. They were arrested before they could do so.

Mishack Chauke was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment, Tsakane Shihlanhu to six years and Thomas Moholole to four years for illegal possession of a firearm and the conspiracy to commit rhino poaching.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  animals  |  rhino poaching

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