Youth can't shoot, taxis rhino poachers

2013-10-13 18:22

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Mbombela - A 22-year-old Mpumalanga man arrested in possession of two rhino horns is expected to appear in the KaNyamazane Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The suspect, from Hazyview, was arrested in possession of two fresh rhino horns during a stop and search operation in KaNyamazane outside Mbombela at around 23:30 on Thursday.

On Friday morning, the suspect accompanied police to the Kruger National Park, where he told them the rhino was killed.

Before heading to the Kruger, he told journalists and police officers that he had not killed the rhino, but had only driven his friends to the killing spot.

"I'm not good in shooting; my friends who ran away are good at that. I only drive them there, carry their food to the site and then drive them back," said the suspected poacher.

The poacher, who is a South African, said his four friends are also South African.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Gerald Sedibe the suspect was stopped with four others on the KaNyamazane road.

He said when police stopped their bakkie, there were five men inside, but the four others ran and left the driver behind.

“The vehicle was searched and police found a rifle and two fresh rhino horns. Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed that they shot the rhino at the Kruger National Park at around 21:00 on Thursday evening.

"After a fruitless search for the other suspects, police are appealing to the community of Hazyview, especially those from the Nyongane area where the suspects are believed to be from, to help. They must alert their nearest police station if they see them," said Sedibe.

He said police would also establish if the bakkie was stolen.

Sedibe said the suspect will appear in the KaNyamazane Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of rhino horns and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa confirmed a rhino was killed in the Kruger near the Malalane gate on Thursday.

"Rangers discovered a fresh carcass; however there is no proof that those horns belong to the fresh one we found.

"We must still do tests to determine if the horns which were found with the suspect at KaNyamazane are really those of the fresh carcass that we found,” said Mabasa. 
Read more on:    mbombela  |  rhino poaching

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