Justice as rhino poachers sentenced to 25 years

Posted by Imogen Searra on 4 April 2019

On Wednesday, 3 April, a gang of poachers responsible for rhino poaching in the Eastern Cape were sentenced to 25 years in jail each. In March the three men, Forget Ndlovu, George Jabulani Ndlovu and Skhumbuzo Ndlovu, were found guilty of rhino poaching by the Grahamstown High Court.

The three men are part of the Ndlovu Gang, which has reportedly been involved in 13 cases of rhino poaching in the Eastern Cape over the span of five years. In June 2016, the three men were caught with a newly-harvested horn in the Makana Resort. Along with the horn, the men were in possession of a darting rifle, medication to tranquilize the animals, saws, knives, two rental cars, and multiple cell phones.

This evidence along with 50 charges related to rhino poaching against the men helped the court to reach the guilty verdict this March, which was well-received – in 2017, the men were released on bail twice by the Hoedspruit Magistrate’s Court and the Grahamstown Court.

Speaking to R News, senior state prosecutor Buks Coetzee said, ‘We are elated because this is a combination of very long and hard hours of investigation by the police and preparation of the case. We had 10 different incidents of rhino poaching, planning for three years and apart from the last incident when they were arrested with the horn and other tools to carry on with the poaching.’

 

Image source: Rudi van den Heever

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