Hawks prosecutor tells of poachers' brutality

2015-05-14 21:09

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Mbombela - An emotional Hawks specialist prosecutor, Ansie Venter, was elated on Thursday when two Mozambican poachers were sentenced to 30 years each for rhino poaching.

This is for Gracy, she said, referring to an orphaned rhino calf which was hacked with a panga when he was just ten days old. The poachers had shot dead his mother.

Venter told Netwerk24’s Buks Viljoen that no-one had thought that Gracy would pull through, but with the grace of God he had survived. That’s where the name Gracy came from, she said.

Silva Tubane, 33, and Aboxubi Mucindi, 19, had pleaded guilty to poaching rhino in the Kruger National Park.

Venter gave shocking details of how poachers went about their business.

They fired just one shot, she said, for fear of being heard and caught. If the rhino is wounded, they would take a panga or axe and sever its spinal cord, so that it can’t flee. Then, while it is still alive, the horn is hacked out.

She said South Africa is the only country in the world where there are orphanages for rhino calves. At one of them, she said, there were 16 calves.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  rhino poaching

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