Axe-wielding rhino poacher jailed for 12 years

2016-09-06 18:12
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Pietermaritzburg - A rhino poacher, arrested with only an axe and rhino horns, had his appeal against his conviction for possessing rifles rejected on Tuesday.

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg agreed with Ulundi regional magistrate Madlala Xolo who convicted Sbu Ntuli and two other men of killing two rhino on Christmas night 2010 at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Xolo heard evidence that park ranger Mandla Hlengile heard shots and he summoned colleagues Sipho Khumalo, Jethro Buthelezi and David Dlamini to search for poachers.

The rangers spotted footprints that showed the poachers had ventured inside the reserve.

The rangers heard voices and ordered the suspects to drop their guns and surrender. However, the poachers responded by cocking their rifles.

The rangers fired and hit two of the men. They were found to have two rifles, two axes and two horns.

Xolo imposed five-year jail terms for the rhino poaching and two sentences of seven years each for the possession of the rifles and one for ammunition.

On Tuesday the High Court found that Ntuli's original 20-year sentence was unduly harsh and reduced it to 12 years.

Read more on:    animals  |  rhino poaching
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