Three poachers sentenced to prison for the killing of three rhinos

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 21 October 2021

Three rhino poachers namely Arlendo Mhlanga, Adam Hlongwane and Inancio Chauke were found guilty of unlawfully entering the Pilansberg Game Reserve in 2018, killing three rhino. The Mogwase Regional Court sentenced each perpetrator to 35 years concurrently, accumulating to a total of 85 years, North West National Prosecution Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame told News24.

They were arrested in July 2018 after a prohibited firearm, ammunition, and stolen rhino horns – valued at R1.5 million – were found in their possession.

The men were denied bail and faced a total of 10 charges, which included the unlawful entering of a heritage site without written permission. ‘We strongly believe this conviction will send a strong warning to illegal poachers whose aim is to destroy the population,’ Mamothame said.

During the trial, state advocate Douw Jacobs argued for the expert opinion of conservationists about the extinction of the rhino population to be considered as evidence. Jacobs situated his argument on the basis that poaching continues to pose a significant threat to South Africa’s environment, economy, and society, reported the Mossel Bay Advertiser. ‘Rhino poaching impacts negatively to the tourism industry and the economy of the country as it results in job losses,’ Jacobs added.

Researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Samuel Umoh stated that not only does South Africa have the largest rhino population on the globe, but it also has the largest illegal poaching rate. In seven years alone, the illegal poaching rate took an exponential spike which has devastated conservation efforts.

In comparison to the lockdown of 2020, in the first half of 2021, the illegal poaching rates increased by 50%. Between January and June 2021, over 200 rhinos were killed and approximately 40 perpetrators were arrested in the Kruger National Park alone, according to

Gareth Coleman, Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park shared Mamothame’s wish to deter poachers: ‘These sentences should serve as a deterrent to those intending to come and kill our natural heritage and destroy the livelihoods of our people.’

Pictures: Getaway Gallery

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