SANParks 'poachers' remanded

2014-09-25 19:05
KNP ranger

KNP ranger

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Johannesburg - Three SANParks employees accused of poaching rhino in the Kruger National Park were remanded in custody when they appeared in the White River Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The accused, Lawrence Baloyi, 34, a game ranger, Shakes Baloyi, 27, a gardener, and Andre Mabunda, 31, a field guide, were not asked to plead to charges of rhino poaching, a Sapa correspondent reported.

The three SA National Parks (SANParks) employees were remanded in custody for further investigation and would appear in court again on 3 October, said Skukuza police spokesperson Warrant Officer Oubas Coetzer.

Coetzer said the workers were arrested during a joint operation between SANParks and the SA Police Service on Sunday.

According to SANParks acting chief executive officer Abe Sibiya the three employees were based in the Lower Sabie area. During their arrest police confiscated a hunting rifle, ammunition, a vehicle and poaching equipment.

He said the arrests came shortly after the discovery of a freshly killed rhino in the Lower Sabie section of the park.

Sibiya added that the park had been under huge pressure from poachers.

"It is unfortunate that those trusted with the well-being of these animals are alleged to have become the destroyers of the same heritage that they have a mandate to protect," said Sibiya at the time of the arrest.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  mbombela  |  rhino poaching

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