Poaching: Polela in court

2013-09-27 00:00

FORMER Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela made his first appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with allegations of poaching at Himeville and Besters near Ladysmith earlier this year.

Polela is facing a total of 13 counts of contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act of 2004, and the Natal Nature Conservation Ordinance.

Polela was dismissed from the Hawks recently over an alleged remark he had tweeted about prison rape. He appeared before regional court magistrate Corrie Greyling in connection with the poaching charges yesterday after being issued with a summons.

He made a very fleeting early morning appearance in the accused’s dock smartly dressed in a white shirt and black suit and tie.

He elected to follow the proceedings in English.

As soon as the case was adjourned, Polela hurried from the courthouse accompanied by his lawyer Viv Greene.

Asked if he wanted to make a statement to the media, Greene consulted briefly with Polela and then said he did not wish to say anything at this stage.

The state alleges that Polela illegally hunted — or alternatively possessed or handled — a Reedbuck and Grey Duiker that were illegally hunted at The Swamp nature reserve near Hime­ville on February 7.

He is also charged with hunting game during the closed season with an artificial light and without a permit at night from a public road in the Besters district on April 9 this year.

The state alleges that the Reedbuck and Grey Duiker at The Swamp were also allegedly shot at night with the illegal use of an artificial light, and that the hunt also allegedly took place during the closed season.

Permits are required to hunt both these animals, and Reedbuck are categorised as a threatened and protected species.

Polela was not asked to plead to any charges. The case was postponed to November 8 to enable his attorney to study the case dockets — which were made available to her by prosecutor Waldo Smit at court yesterday.

The court was told Polela has also yet to decide whether he wishes to appoint an advocate to represent him at his trial.

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