Skukuza courts convict s and sentences Rhino poachers
South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the conviction and sentencing of three poachers at the Skukuza Regional Court. The three were given varying sentences depending on the charges they were facing related to rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
Jeffrey Mathebula was arrested in 2015 and convicted under Sect. 46 of Act 57 of 2003 – trespassing in a national park, and fined R10 000.00 or two years imprisonment of which half is suspended for five years.
His counterpart, Adolph Ndlovu was convicted for trespassing, being in possession of unlicensed firearm, unlicensed ammunition, and being in the possession of a firearm with the intent to commit a crime. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Abednigo Mahlabane was arrested in 2017 and he was convicted for trespassing, being an illegal immigrant, being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and pointing a firearm. He was given an effective sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
The CEO of SANParks Fundisile Mketeni has congratulated the prosecution, the SAPS, Ranger’s corps and the Environment Crime Investigative Unit and expressed gratitude to the justice system for stepping up and ensuring that all hands are on deck in the fight against wildlife crime. “It is very encouraging to note that the perpetrators are not just arrested but they are also sentenced as it should be. This is a step in the right direction and it goes to show how this poaching scourge can be overcome if we all work together,” said Mketeni.