Rhino 'syndicate head' attacks journo

2013-04-05 10:25


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Johannesburg - A former policeman accused of being the head of a rhino horn smuggling syndicate attacked a journalist when he appeared in the Middelburg court, The Citizen reported on Friday.

Moments after Middelburg Observer journalist Jana Boshoff took a photo of Joseph Nyalungu he hit her with documents clutched in his hand, according to the report.

He then attempted to strike her on the face but Boshoff stood back and avoided the blow.

He also grabbed Boshoff's camera, but a fellow journalist jumped to her defence.

The incident was reported to magistrate Andreas Mastourades shortly before proceedings - where a total of 13 suspects appeared on charges relating to rhino horn smuggling.

13 accused

Another accused, Elijah Ngubeni, was added to the existing 12 accused on the charge sheet.

Nyalungu appeared together with fellow South Africans Conrad Nkuna, a policeman, and Happy Sello Zitha.

The other accused are Vietnamese and Mozambican nationals.

The charges include trading in protected wildlife, money laundering, drug possession, housebreaking, house robbery, employing illegal immigrants, providing assistance to illegal immigrants, possession of stolen property, theft and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The case was postponed until June because transcripts of telephone conversations, as well as other documents, have not yet been made available.

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