Suspected poacher was out on bail

2010-09-13 21:17

Nelspruit - Three suspected rhino poachers appeared in the Badplaas Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga on Monday to face charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Fannie Maseko, 19, Mduduzi Mathebula, 20, and Lucky Maseko, 20, from Mbejeka village in Elukwatini, were arrested on Friday on the road between Lochiel and Elukwatini after the police received a tipoff.

“We suspect they were on their way to Songimvelo Game Reserve to poach rhino," said Elukwatini cluster police spokesperson JC Potgieter.

"Lucky was caught earlier this year after three rhinos were shot in the reserve and their horns removed. He was out on bail and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest after he failed to appear in court.

"He also has another case of abduction and attempted murder against him."

Potgieter said an AK-47 and a .303 hunting rifle were confiscated by the police.

The three men were not asked to plead and have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on September 20.