Trio in court for rhino horn trade

Johannesburg - A fruit and vegetable vendor, a Transnet employee and a driving school owner will appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of dealing in rhino horns.

Lawyers for Rajendran Moodley, Sithembiso Luthuli and Samgelo Sibiya said their clients intended to plead not guilty to the two charges that each man faced. The three were applying for bail.

State prosecutor Krishen Shah said the State had a "watertight case".

The three men were nabbed in a sting operation on March 18, after Moodley approached an undercover policeman and allegedly tried to sell him a rhino horn.

Shah said the 1m-long horn weighed 6.5kg and would earn about US$60 000 per kilogram, or a total of about R3m.

The men had allegedly attempted to sell the horn for R1.5m. Lawyer Sibusiso Mndaba said both his clients - Luthuli and Sibiya - could afford to pay bail of R10 000 each.

Moodley's lawyer said his client could afford R20 000 bail, and that his fruit and vegetable business had suffered since his arrest.

The court was told Luthuli worked for Transnet. Sibiya, 47, suffered from diabetes and operated a driving school. All three claimed they were not a flight risk.

However, Shah argued the three were part of a syndicate and "had become a liability" to that syndicate.

The State, he said, could not guarantee their safety if they were released.

Each man faces one charge of dealing in rhino horn and another of illegal possession of rhino horn.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
72% - 7100 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
28% - 2787 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.84
+1.3%
Rand - Pound
21.09
+1.0%
Rand - Euro
17.93
+1.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.26
+1.2%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+1.7%
Gold
1,770.84
-0.6%
Silver
22.35
+0.1%
Palladium
1,743.00
-0.1%
Platinum
942.50
+0.7%
Brent Crude
68.87
-0.5%
Top 40
64,610
-0.3%
All Share
71,043
-0.2%
Resource 10
67,262
-0.9%
Industrial 25
93,948
-0.1%
Financial 15
13,946
+0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE