State opposes bail for hunter, game farm manager after stash or tusks and horns discovered

2017-08-24 22:44
Rhino horn. (File, Supplied: SAPS)

Rhino horn. (File, Supplied: SAPS)

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Johannesburg - The state has opposed bail in the matter of a professional hunter and Limpopo game farm manager who was arrested last week for illegal possession of rhino horns, elephant tusks, and unlicensed hunting rifles.

The bail application of Samuel Liversage, 68, began in the Lenyenye Magistrate's Court yesterday, and was postponed pending the results of further police investigation.

Liversage, who is listed as a full member of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (Phasa), was nabbed at Sandringham Private Nature Reserve last Thursday by the Rhino 08 Poaching Task Team, following a major investigation into an illegal weapons racket.

Also read: Rhino horns, elephant tusks and weapons discovered at game reserve

According to Brigadier Vish Naidoo, at the time of his arrest, Liversage was unable to produce possession permits for the rhino horns and elephant tusks, and serial numbers had been filed off some of the weapons found in his possession.

A further search of the property yielded ten rhino horns and two ivory tusks.

The horns and tusks are currently the focus of further investigation, and are currently being scrutinised and forensically evaluated.

Naidoo said Liversage’s arrest came five days after the Rhino 08 team arrested a SAPS stock-theft unit captain and gunsmith, Captain Chris Du Plessis and three others for illegally killing a giraffe at the East Gate Game Farm, outside Hoedspruit.

Police say they have good reason to believe rifle parts and barrels are being inter-changed and swapped in a ruse to confuse ballistics forensic test analysis.

It is understood he faces further charges in several other matters.

He remains in custody pending his bail application on August 28, and has been given notice of suspension in terms of section 43 of the SAPS Act 68/1995.

Read more on:    poaching
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