Alleged ‘kingpin’ rhino poacher shot dead in Mpumalanga

Posted on 28 March 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

An alleged rhino poacher ‘kingpin’ was shot to death near Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport on Sunday evening, 26 March.

Chief Clyde Mnisi has been on trial for money laundering, murder, illegal rhino horn sales, and racketeering since earlier this month. He and others were scheduled to appear in court in April.

rhino poacher shot

He was appointed chief of the Mnisi Tribal Authority in Bushbuckridge in 2022, but prosecutors and police believe he is one of the ‘kingpins’ in a widespread rhino horn trafficking network.

News24 reports that the chief was first arrested in September 2018, with six others, for ‘conspiracy to commit a crime, the illegal buying and selling of rhino horn, corruption, and money laundering.’

The Hawks said the group were allegedly involved in a sophisticated rhino horn syndicate that included at least two cops and government officials.

According to the police report, Mnisi and his driver experienced a tyre puncture in their Toyota Avanza and were waiting on the side of the road for assistance. It is alleged that a group of five men, wearing balaclavas and carrying ‘high calibre rifles,’ alighted from their BMW X5 and opened the door to the passenger seat. They opened fire, killing Mnisi and shooting the driver in the leg. The driver is currently receiving treatment for his injuries.

White River police were notified of the incident and have opened a case of murder and attempted murder. They have made no arrests yet, and members of the public are encouraged to come forward with any information that they may have.

Pictures: GettyImages

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