Bail for rangers charged with killing poacher

2014-12-27 23:13

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Johannesburg - Three rangers who were arrested for murder, were granted bail in the Ubombo Magistrate's Court on Saturday, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said.

"The rangers were arrested on Christmas Day for shooting an alleged poacher. They were released on R1 000 bail each," said spokesperson Musa Mntambo.

Mntambo said the rangers were doing a foot patrol on Thursday in uMkhuze Game Reserve when they saw three suspected poachers.

When the rangers tried to stop the men they ran and the rangers chased them and put all rangers on alert. The entrances to the park were closed.

"Rangers outside about a kilometer from the reserve saw a guy coming towards them and asked the man to stop and hold his hands in the air," Mntambo said.

"The man took out a knife and when the rangers realised that he was one of the suspected poachers, a shoot-out occurred and the man died."

He said the rangers called the police to investigate a case of alleged poaching, but when police arrived they arrested the rangers.

KwaZulu-Natal police confirmed three rangers were arrested and were released on bail.

"They were arrested in Jozini after they killed an unarmed man they claimed is a suspected poacher," spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said.

Investigations continue.

However, acting chief executive of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Dr David Mabunda, said he was surprised that the rangers were arrested.

"The poachers are getting away with murder while law enforcement agencies are at war with each other," he said in a statement on Friday.

"It doesn't make sense and I'm furious."

He said the rangers killed the suspected poacher when they suspected their lives were in danger.

"We will allow the law to take its course and we will spare no resources in providing legal support to our rangers and also emotional support by referring them for counselling once they are released," Mabunda said.

"I plan to meet with the National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega to set up a protocol to handle these matters."

Read more on:    ezemvelo kzn wildlife  |  riah phiyega  |  durban  |  poaching  |  crime

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