HARD WORK AND DEDICATION BROUGHT A SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTION.
On 2021-02-24 field rangers from the Lower Sabi and Crocodile Bridge sections reacted to a visual of three armed suspects that entered the Kruger National Park by crossing the International boundary between the RSA and Mozambique.
During that follow up, the field rangers reported a gunshot and subsequently made contact with three armed suspects. One suspect was wounded in the left hand and a second suspect was arrested while the third managed to flee back to Mozambique.
The arrested suspects were identified as Jordan Samuel Mathonsi and Gorge Masangu (wounded in the left hand) and both were Mozambican nationals.
A hunting rifle, ammunition as well as 2 fresh rhinoceros horns were recovered during the arrest. Later on, a scene was discovered in the Crocodile Bridge section of the KNP and the horns were linked to the scene with DNA.
Both accused pleaded guilty in the Skukuza Regional Court and were sentenced on Friday, 05 November as follows:
Count 1 – Trespassing in a National Park – 3 years imprisonment
Count 2 – Illegal immigration – 1-year imprisonment
Count 3 – Hunting of rhinoceros in a National Park – 10 years imprisonment
Count 4 – Possession of an unlicensed firearm – 5 years imprisonment
Count 5 – Possession of unlicenced ammunition – 2 years imprisonment
Count 6 – Possession of a prohibited firearm (no serial number) – 6 years imprisonment
Sentence on count 1 and 2 to run concurrently with the sentence on count 3 and sentence on count 4 and 5 to run concurrently with that of count 6.
Effective sentence of 16 years imprisonment.
Under the leadership of the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mananamela, the SAPS Management has welcomed the sentencing and applauded the sterling work and commitment displayed by the Skukuza Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit.
“I am delighted and impressed by the hard work displayed by these members. They should keep it this way so that we can save and protect our endangered species. Should we not protect them, our children would not have an opportunity to see them. They must continue to do the good work” said the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Manamela.