Alleged elephant poachers sentenced to eight years in prison

Posted by Anita Froneman on 1 June 2021

Two Mozambican nationals were sentenced to eight years in prison for elephant poaching and other offenses. The two allegedly trespassed and poached an elephant at Kruger National Park, and were arrested in 2018.

Credit: Willem Kruger
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Enock Sibanda and Eckson Shirinda were convicted of trespassing, contravention of Immigration Act, possession of prohibited obliterated firearm, possession of ammunition, illegal hunting and killing of an elephant, according to the African News Agency. Both pleaded not guilty.

Shirinda and Sibande were apprehended by Kruger National Park rangers.

“The state prosecutor, Norman Makhubele, told the court about the impact of animal poaching on the environment. He said poaching affected the environment by depleting certain species of animals which can cause animals that are endangered to become extinct, arguing for a suitable sentence,” said Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.

The African bush elephant is considered endangered and the African forest elephant is considered critically endangered, with an estimated 415,000 elephants left on the continent according to the World Wildlife Fund. 

The IUCN states that the population of the bush elephant (also known as savanna elephants), which is common in South Africa, decreased by at least 60% over the last 50 years. This is mainly due to poaching and habitat loss primarily to agricultural and other land uses.


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Picture: Willem Kruger

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