KZN poachers to plead guilty

2013-04-10 14:58

Rhino. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Two men arrested for rhino poaching in KwaZulu-Natal intend pleading guilty at their next court appearance, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Wednesday.

"The legal representative of Mr Thulani Mbatha, 26, and Mr Israel Muntungowakhe Khoza, 43, has indicated that the accused intend to plead guilty for possession of a rhino horn and illegal hunting of a rhino," spokesperson Musa Mntambo said in a statement.

Ezemvelo is a government body tasked with maintaining wilderness areas and public nature reserves in KwaZulu-Natal.

The men appeared in the Utrecht Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for a bail application.

The matter was postponed to 19 April, when they were expected to be convicted and sentenced.

Their lawyer told the court he had come across new information while consulting his clients and asked for a postponement.

Khoza and Mbatha were arrested last month when police found them with two rhino horns with an estimated value of R500 000.

"The DNA results of the horns found in their possession have been linked to the rhino that was found poached at Ithala Game Reserve on 13 March. The carcass was about 12 days old when it was found and the horns had been meticulously removed."

Khoza was linked to another rhino-related case and was due to appear in another court on Thursday.

"Mr Khoza will be transferred to Richards Bay as he is expected to appear in court tomorrow for another rhino-related crime he committed in August of 2009.

"He was out on bail when he was arrested on 15 March [this year]," Mntambo said.

Read more on:    durban  |  rhino poaching

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.