Pretoria: 20 November 2015 – Yesterday four men appeared in the White River Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga after they were caught hunting rhino in the Kruger National Park.
The men, all of whom are foreigners and in their early twenties, where caught out by the park’s rangers on Friday. In the first incident three suspects, Simon Tembe, 25, Fernando Obet Chivuri, 22, and Samuel Jonas Cossa, 23, were arrested in the Tshokwane section of the park and were found in possession hunting rifle, ammunition, some cartridges, a silencer and an axe. They had apparently shot and injured a rhino.
The fourth suspect, William Afredo Zitha, 23, who is also a foreigner was found in Houtboschrand section of the park. Those that he was with escaped.
All four men have been charged with trespassing in a national park, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. Their cases have been postponed to 17 November 2015 for further investigations.
So far the arrests in the park are fast approaching the 170 mark over a 12 month period. The South African Police Service, which formed a task team to work closely with the park’s authorities, has praised the team for the job well done. The Kruger National Park Rhino Task Team has been working closely with the park’s rangers and has, in the process, assisted in securing lengthy jail sentences for rhino poachers.