Rhino Poachers sentenced to 105 years
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has welcomed the sentencing of three rhino poachers.
The poachers were handed a combined sentence of 105 years in the Skukuza Regional Court, Mpumalanga province, on Friday 03 September 2021.
The convicted trio, Walter Hendric Mangane, (59), Shangani Mathebula, (26) and Emmanuel Mdluli (33), were all arrested in 2017, after they were found in possession of rhino horns at the Kruger National Park. On Friday, Mangane was sentenced to 45 years, while Mathebula and Mdluli each received a sentence of 30 years.
Police Spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the poachers were discovered by field rangers who had heard gunshots blasting in the park.
” A report was received by field rangers about gunshots that were heard in the park. Whilst drawing closer, the rangers saw the poachers shooting at two rhinoceroses. They immediately summoned a South African National Parks helicopter for support, and the three were successfully apprehended. The men were found to be in possession of a rifle, which had its serial number filed off, as well as ammunition. The trio was also found with rhino horns which were stashed in backpacks,” Mdhluli said.
The IFP member, Narend Singh, said on the obligation of preserving the South African heritage, they would continue to ask accountable questions to the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, in Parliament.
“The IFP will continue to champion any efforts to safeguard and preserve our precious natural heritage –including our endangered species, such as the rhino. We will continue to hold Barbara Creecy accountable, particularly via written questions,” Narend said.