Rhino suspects could walk free

2012-03-16 09:20

Johannesburg - A Chinese man and Vietnamese man charged with involvement in rhino poaching could walk out of the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court as free men on Friday, if a court translator fails to appear, Beeld newspaper reported.

District Magistrate Eric Mhlari on Thursday postponed the case against the two until Friday, and warned that in the absence of a translator, he would remove the case from the court roll.

Vietnamese citizen Qifen Chen and Jigua Han, from China, appeared in court for the first time on February 21, according to Beeld.

Chen was then admitted to hospital with an ankle injury and the case was postponed until February 29, but he was unable to attend the court case as he was still in hospital.

Court translator Melody Lin was not available for either of the two court appearances, so the case was postponed until March 7, but Lin did not arrive.

She sent a message to notify the magistrate that she could only translate Chinese, not Vietnamese.

Meanwhile, Chen informed the court that he in fact could speak fluent Chinese, so the case was postponed until March 15.

On Thursday, Lin again failed to arrive, after informing the court that she had a stomach ailment.
She assured the court that she would definitely attend the case on Friday.

  • Dean - 2012-03-16 09:27

    Seriously! What the hell is this country coming to?!?

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-16 09:34

      In a world of advanced technology, you want to tell me that we can't do the translations electronically?

      procold2 - 2012-03-16 09:46

      the can pythagoras but no one at court can operate the computer.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-16 09:49

      @ procold2 - Oh yeah.... O_o Forgot about that!

      mossie.geldenhuys - 2012-03-16 09:58


      Ian - 2012-03-16 10:00

      No wonder people go to SA to get their wives murdered.....

      Alan - 2012-03-16 10:07

      WTF? Now I am livid! It is time this Govt. sorted out it's structures and legal system and everything else that allows lawbreakers to get off scott free. Time and again, all the good work that is done by some, gets undone by incompetence and corruption. I am G*tvol of this lot!!!!!!!!!

      Spyker - 2012-03-16 10:21

      Why don't we EXECUTE the same justice on Chinese citizens than what the Chinese regime bestows on South African citizens..? Ie the Chinese regime will **murder a SAcan citizen and we simply let the f#%king China and his feral crony free... **The callous murder of Janice Bronwyn Linden by the Chinese regime. The bona fide reason for the (supposed) "magistrate's" threat has more to do with the reason the Dalai Lama did not come to SA, than what it has to do with a 'translator' (that mysteriously never appears). I will repeat what I have said before: the only hope the rhino has, is for it to be re-located to a civilised country - the USA is likely the best option; as part of a long-term 'custodial management' plan. It can then be relocated after a few thousand years, after Africa has destroyed itself and it is eventually returned, to the only economically successful tribe Africa has seen since the dawn of time.

      Martin - 2012-03-16 10:35

      @ DEAN aaaay dont be counter revolutionary

      Rhyno - 2012-03-16 13:52

      Spyker... Seriously? Are you joking? Thats your solution? Shipping animals out of Africa and punting this @#$% as a legitimate comment!?!? I'm not even referring to the rest of the garbage you must have copied from your copy of "Conspiracy Theorist Today" FIY: Just because the case is struck from the role, doesn't mean the accused walk free, the charges still remain pending. And for that matter, there's no way they could be on trial already if their first appearance was 3 weeks ago. Well done News 24!! You did a bang up job of once again creating a storm in a teacup with the headline!

      bluzulu - 2012-03-22 07:48

      Let's get our Hero Cop from Limpopo on these asian asses,

  • Darren - 2012-03-16 09:27

    cut them by their shins and then let them walk out!

      Piet - 2012-03-16 17:38

      De-horn them with a blunt knife, then set them free

  • siya.jr - 2012-03-16 09:27

    Keep them in jail until she appears.......rhino poaching won't stop if they going to dismiss this case.

      Alan - 2012-03-16 10:19

      My guess is that the criminals have 'got' to the translator with either a bribe (brobe for some), or a life threat. If we had a competent lgal system, there would be another translator available.

      Marion - 2012-03-16 10:49

      @Alan - I just posted a similar comment on another forum. I reckon the Chinese Triads may be intimidating her. Unacceptable that there is only one Chinese court translator on the books. Letting these guys go free will be a total travesty of justice.

  • JohhnyBGood - 2012-03-16 09:27

    NO, that is BS. Talking of a 'technicality'

      Grant - 2012-03-16 10:36

      Learn Eskimo and make it your first language! It appears that the law does not apply if there are no translators... what a joke!

  • GTR2 - 2012-03-16 09:28

    The reason for this is because the fatcats in the Goverment are behind this.

  • lynnethbs - 2012-03-16 09:29

    maybe the translator was paid not to attend i doubt if she will even show up for the next appearance

      Cpo - 2012-03-16 10:22

      @lynnethbs,somehow I got the same feeling,seriously they mean2tell us that in over 40 million SA people,ehh 20 of which are foreigners, there is none that can translate, no ways>>>>

      Grant - 2012-03-16 10:37

      I want to know how these foreigners were able to live a week in SA with no way of understanding any of our languages!?

  • spartanx93 - 2012-03-16 09:30

    Simple solution.... Deport the Asian idiots!

      mossie.geldenhuys - 2012-03-16 10:00


  • Heiku - 2012-03-16 09:32

    Seems like the Judge is not interested in justice.

      Rob - 2012-03-16 10:47

      Magistrate, he is a magistrate, not a judge. Seems he is also not that interested in justice prevailing, but rather let criminals get off scot free!

  • Dennis - 2012-03-16 09:35

    The translater should be locked up for a couple of months . Kempton Park Magistrate ------ No Comment ????? Just wondering ????

  • pjsawers - 2012-03-16 09:39

    I can organize both a Chinese and Vietnamese translator - no problem! If you want to contact me please email me

  • Cina - 2012-03-16 09:40

    Is she the only translator in this whole country you must be kidding me. There is how many Chinese living here.

  • Piet - 2012-03-16 09:40

    The might of South African law under ANC rule!

  • stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-16 09:44

    "me no inglis"

  • SJ Kleynhans - 2012-03-16 09:44

    Charge her with defeating the ends of justice! Bitch! These two are probably her husband/boyfriends main suppliers! She's been getting a little purple around the cheeks since they were in jail!

  • willie.uys - 2012-03-16 09:46

    Do you think they had translators when they did their business dealings with the rest of their Gang?

  • darshanlala - 2012-03-16 09:46

    The courts should appoint an anonymous translator, just in-case. I think Melody Lin must've been "contacted". I thought Chinese is not a language, and that the actual language that people speak in China is Mandarin / Cantonese.

  • Whispers4life - 2012-03-16 09:47

    So what was the point of the article??? She said she would be there!?

  • Johan - 2012-03-16 09:48

    Not fair ! The Rhino can disapear from the face of the earth forever if we dont stop these bastards. Are we taking bribes here ?

  • Shirley - 2012-03-16 09:49

    This jus proes once again how seriously powers that be are taking crime! Here we have a poacher but he could go free because of incompetance of the highest level!Their "dont care attitude" is sickening and disgusting! Shame on you!

  • mholthuysen - 2012-03-16 09:51

    And there is only one translator available in the entire country? I am sure she is been paid off as well...! What is South Africa coming to.... shocking, scandalous and outrageous!

  • Grant - 2012-03-16 09:52

    This is really sad, shows how much South Africa is bending down for Asia, if a South African smuggles a few drugs they execute them, but its ok for them to come here and Slaughter hundreds of our Rhino which is one of our BIG FIVE....

  • roodbol - 2012-03-16 09:52

    They'll safer in jail....

  • mossie.geldenhuys - 2012-03-16 09:55

    Ma se....ons land is pateties!!! Ons spandeer miljoene om die renosters lewendig te hou en die stropers te vang, net sodat die blikskottels weens tegniese redes vrygelaat kan word. Maak mens gatvol.

  • Herman - 2012-03-16 09:58

    Give me their address - I will go translate to them with a chainsaw!!!

  • Dannys - 2012-03-16 10:04

    Ankle injury - hopefully from catching it in a snare

  • daniella.blazic - 2012-03-16 10:04

    Surely there must be more than one person who can translate? Let's see what today brings....

  • Windlass - 2012-03-16 10:05

    Can only speak English when it suits them??? ... But seriously that has got to be the most ridiculous reason for letting them go??? ... Who writes these laws anyway. Maybe you should lock them up for being so stupid!

      Jeffrey - 2012-03-16 10:50

      I was wondering that. How did Chen tell them he can speak the non-existent language of Chinese without the translator? And if he can speak English, why are we waiting for this woman?

  • Esther Badenhorst - 2012-03-16 10:05

    Who knows, maybe they behind the fact that she's not pitching...

  • vincent.surics - 2012-03-16 10:11

    And this is a District Magistrate!! .......he is actually encouraging rhino poaching with his misguided thinking. Wonder how he obtained his qualifications.

  • Dave - 2012-03-16 10:15

    Once again our legal system is failing us. WTF

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-16 10:15

    Strange, they don't need a translator when dealing with the poachers. Judge tell them they will stay in jail till a translator can be found and see how quick they understand English. This judicial pussyfooting is so ridiculous.

  • Mart - 2012-03-16 10:16

    To let them go free without them answering to the charges would be a gross miscarriage of justice. I would also like to allege that they might even be intimidating the interpreter....why are her details known to all and sundry anyway. If this happens please share the docket and the identity to the real people of this country to make a ruling and exact suitable punishment. We might already have two retired judges to assist with the making of the ruling, to lend credibility to this procedure.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-16 10:16

    Let me get this straight: In hospital from the 21st of Feb 'till the 29th for an ANKLE Injury? Unadultared BS! Normal citizens get kicked out of our State Hospitals a week after having a triple By-pass. Something here stinks more than a 1000 Year Egg.

  • Sharon - 2012-03-16 10:18

    It is amazing that we show mercy for these poachers by allowing them medical treatment in hospital while they showed no mercy for the rhino when they slaughtered them.Deport them or lock them up for 25 years.

  • Ari - 2012-03-16 10:19

    She is being got at . . .

  • Sonja - 2012-03-16 10:20

    only in South Africa......"

  • Sechaba - 2012-03-16 10:20

    is Lin the only person who can speak chinesein that area???

  • Alan - 2012-03-16 10:32

    I can translate Chinese and vietnamese.(in this case) they said and I quote "We are guilty"!!!!!!! Case closed.

  • nathanjaysa - 2012-03-16 10:34

    This is a Joke... Funny how the government always stuff up Court cases like this due to unprofessional-ism and not taking alternative steps to ensure cases like this from the badguys walking away freely.This is our country yet we stand strong against Rhino poaching and even support them with means of funds and human resources but at the end its the Courts ruling that counts. Put those Poachers in societies hands for a few days let us show how you treat Monsters like that... Translators.. gets used every time when theirs delegates in our country , WHY! cant they use those people, atleast they not influenced like Miss Lin

  • Brett - 2012-03-16 10:41

    That is unacceptable!!! Honestly, with today's technology one would think that they have alternative means of translating... The amount of money that these criminals make from selling poached rhino horn helps them pay the translators not to appear for their trial. Send them back to where they came from and don't ever let them back into Africa! This sort of thing is not helping us win the war against poaching.

  • danibani24 - 2012-03-16 10:45

    I assume they mean that she is an interpreter.

  • Jeffrey - 2012-03-16 10:47

    The testicles of RHINO POACHERS cure AIDS. Pass it on....

  • Linda - 2012-03-16 10:51

    This must not be allowed to happen! And who else besides me thinks that Lin has been paid off?????????????????? Why does our government allow people into the country if they cant speak one of our official languages? Of course the accused can speak English - it is just a delaying tactic - and we, the taxpayers are paying for their games - in addition to having to pay for the translator. Sentence them to death - and I am sure they will suddenly understand - no matter what language is used.

  • sbonelo.s.ngwenya - 2012-03-16 10:54

    WOW!!!! one of our own is prosecuted in china after even the president tried negotiating for her life.. now one of theirs caught damaging our country and walks free? COME ON!

  • surita.coetzer - 2012-03-16 10:55

    Seriously !!!! Every one can ignore SA court any way they wish to. The President set's the exsample!!! What is this country becoming!!!!

  • sam.swanpoel - 2012-03-16 11:02

    WTF if they walk then someone else must be punished fo screwing up

  • Ephraim - 2012-03-16 11:03

    Its really a disgrace for our Justice for not taking this rhino poaching serious,,,,,,how can we as ordinary citizen do if our leaders are failing to do so..

  • Jamie - 2012-03-16 11:27

    What are the odds that they did all their arranging, of the rhino poaching, in Chinese - minimal. If the accused don't find a translator for themselves, then they should just pick one of our official languages, and the trial should go ahead in that. Why must we bow to their bullsh**t ?

  • BuzzM - 2012-03-16 11:31

    Has the magistrate gone crazy? This sets the precedent that anybody who doesn't speak a "local" language can commit any crime and not be prosecuted... Has the magistrate got no common sense? If these guys get off, then it implies that foreigners are welcome to come and rape our country and kill our rhinos and get away with it! If this is the case, I call for all Vietnamese and other people who can't speak one of our 11 official languages to be deported immediately! How much are they paying the translator to stay away?? District Magistrate Eric Mhlari, I beg you to reconsider and make sure that these people are dealt with like they should be!!!

  • BuzzM - 2012-03-16 11:34

    Can a translator be held on contempt of court? Summons the bitch!