The KwaZulu-Natal's environment MEC lauded local authorities on Friday for protecting the province's ecosystem.In one incident in Richards Bay this week, police worked with North Coast Anti-Poaching (NCAP) and together, they intercepted two people, allegedly in possession of an illegal haul of more than 900 prawns.In a second incident, patrolling game rangers at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park noticed the presence of three armed men, who immediately opened fire on the rangers. The rangers returned fire, fatally wounding one of the men. The other two fled, but a high-calibre rifle and an axe were recovered.MEC for Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala praised authorities for their swift action.He said KZN took pride in its fauna, flora and marine life."These are all important aspects of our ecosystem which also contribute immensely to our desirability as a tourism destination.""I commend the game rangers for defending, not only their lives, but also those of rhinoceros at the park."Meanwhile, Zikalala said he was disappointed at the postponement of the trial of alleged poaching kingpin Dumisani Gwala in the Mtubatuba Magistrate's Court this week."Nonetheless, we understand that while the wheels of justice may turn slowly, they grind exceedingly fine. We thus place our faith in the judiciary and remain doubtless that the book will be thrown at those who continue to lead the merciless butchering of our rhinoceros."The matter has been postponed more than 20 times since the Hawks arrested the 56-year-old in December 2014. The reasons for the postponements varied and included changes in the accused’s legal teams and the replacement of magistrates.He and two others were bust during a sting operation.