Tree thieves get heavy sentences

2008-05-15 00:00

A KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife inspector praised the Mzimkhulu Circuit High Court in southern KZN for setting a precedent after it handed down heavy sentences to six men yesterday convicted of stealing 89 protected indigenous trees.

Brothers Pierre and Morne Terblanche from Mooi River, and their father Victor, were each given 14-year sentences of which six years were suspended for five years.

Their three accomplices, Inkosi Wilson Nhlabathi of the Malenge Tribal Authority, his treasurer Simphiwe Satshwa, and tribal secretary Eric Sithole, were each sentenced to eight years, of which three were suspended for five years.

"With these sentences the precedent has been set for the first time in order to prevent the purchase of indigenous forests," said Evemvelo investigator Rod Potter.

Judge J. Miller heard that the Terblanches secured an illegal deal to purchase yellowwood logs from Nhlabathi, Satchwa and Sithole, who were each paid R15 000.

The logs, worth R389 000, were cut from Gonqogonqo State Forest, which is protected by Ezemvelo. The offenders were also punished for damage done during the timber cutting, described as "enormous" by Potter.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.