Tebogo Msimanga |
Three alleged rhino poachers, aged between 23 and 49 are expected to appear in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 04 July 2022 facing a charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm with ammunition, as well as charges related to poaching and illegally entering the park. They were arrested in the Kruger National Park on Friday, 01 July 2022 after a tourist reported a strange noise of gunshots in the park. A total of four rhinoceros were allegedly killed by poachers before they were caught by the field rangers.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said reports indicate that on the said day, a group of armed intruders sneaked inside the park and later gunshots were heard by a tourist who had visited the park on that day.
“The information was escalated to the field rangers and a helicopter was immediately dispatched to the scene where the sound was heard. As the chopper arrived, three men were spotted and captured in possession of a hunting rifle, a silencer, three knives, four mobile phones as well as three bags”.
Mohlala said through preliminary investigation it was discovered that the alleged poachers failed to remove the horn as the knife they were reportedly using, was broken. “It was further discovered that the three male suspects are from the country of Mozambique and were in South Africa illegally hence a charge of contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa”.
He added that the police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges against the suspects.