South African National Parks (SANParks) welcomes the sentencing of four people, including a former SANparks employee, found guilty of rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park.
The accused were found guilty on various poaching-related charges including trespassing in a National Park, breaking the Immigration Act and killing of a rhino.
SUSPECTS WERE ARRESTED FOR RHINO POACHING IN 2019
On Friday,14 May, the Skukuza Regional Court sentenced Nito Mathebula to an effective 13 years after he was found guilty of trespassing in a National Park, breaking the Immigration Act and killing of a rhino.
Mathebula was arrested for hunting illegally in the Tshokwane Section of the Kruger National Park in January 2019. Two of his accomplices managed to evade arrest.
In a separate trial, three people including a former SANParks employee was also found guilty of rhino poaching.
SANPARKS URGE EMPLOYEES TO REPORT POACHING
Phineas Dinda a former SANParks full corporal in the Rangers Corps, Arlindo Manyike from Mozambique and Alfa Gwebana a South African citizen were arrested for rhino poaching in May 2019.
All three were found guilty of trespassing in a national Park, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of live ammunition including an axe.
Manyike was also found guilty of contravening the Immigration Act. They were all sentenced to an effective 16 years in prison on Monday, 17 May.
The Managing Executive of Kruger National Park, Gareth Coleman, welcomed the lengthy sentences.
“We hope this will send a message to others that justice will ultimately be served. It is particularly concerning that one of our own employees has been arrested and imprisoned,” he said.
Coleman added that SANParks are aware of employees colluding with poachers. He urged all employees who have information pertaining to rhino poaching, to come forward.