Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rhino poachers nabbed

May 26, 2008



Rhino poachers nabbed

Lesley Stephenson

SIX persons alleged to be involved in the poaching and selling of a white rhino from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve have been arrested.
In a combined operation between the Organised Crime Unit (OCU) and Mtuba SAPS, Mandla Peter Manqele (32) from Ulundi, Zemizi Sihle Manqele (24) from Ulundi, Bafana Professor Gumede (34) from Mfekaye, Dumisani Bongani Gumede (50) from Matubatuba and Mashonisha Abram Mothlabane (66) from Krugersdorp were arrested following a tip-off.

Evidence recovered
OCU Investigating Officer, Insp Sitha Makhanya, with assistance from from Mtuba SAPS Inspector S E Nxumalo and student constables Mkhwanazi, Buthelezi and Mdletshe, recovered cash, possibly proceeds from the selling of the rhino horn and the R1 rifle which has been linked to the poaching incident.

Street value
Head of OCU, Supt Mthembu, confirmed the street value of the poached horn at R1-million, while the value of the rhino is R500 000.
'Poached horn is used for jewellery, ornaments or trophies, as well as for muti purposes,' said Mbatha.
He added that the arrests followed a highly successful month for the Organised Crime Unit, who have also enjoyed some good convictions and arrests for armed robbery and hijacking cases.



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