SANParks ranger out on R5 000 bail for medical evaluation

2015-11-10 16:01


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Nelspruit - A South African National Parks section ranger, accused of shooting a rhino in the Kruger National Park, has been released on R5 000 bail so that his medical condition can be evaluated.

Lawrence Baloyi, 42, a section ranger of Lower Sabie, appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday alongside his co-accused André Mabunda, 43, a field guide, and Shakes Baloyi, 46, a gardener.

The trio have alleged that they were assaulted by police during their arrest.

State prosecutor Isabet Erwee told the court she was aware of the allegations.

"We have agreed that only accused number one be granted bail in order for his medical condition to be evaluated," said Erwee.

Erwee informed the accused to open criminal charges against police in terms of their assault allegations.

Magistrate André Geldenhuys granted Baloyi R5 000 bail on condition that he doesn't interfere with State witnesses.

"You are ordered not to consult with any of the State witnesses. You are also not allowed to enter the Kruger Park or any part of the park for evaluation of your medical condition. The other two accused will remain in custody and the case is postponed to January 12," said Geldenhuys.

The three were arrested on September 21 2014 by Skukuza Police and the special operations team shortly after a rhino was shot in the head in the Kruger National Park.

They have pleaded not guilty to charges of hunting a protected species, possession of firearms and ammunition with the intent to commit a crime, unlawful possession of ammunition, conspiracy to commit a crime and the attempted theft of rhino horn.

The suspects had earlier indicated in court that they were assaulted during their arrest. They said they had been to hospital for medical treatment.

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