EASTERN CAPE – Jonathan Jeremy Perring (37), Keanon Terblanche (28) and Christo Shaun Swartz (30) appeared in the Gqeberha New Law Regional Court on 15 July 2021 where they were each sentenced to 15 months direct imprisonment or R75 000 fine for theft of a rhino horn.

On 21 February 2021, the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Gqeberha conducted an operation after the information was received that two persons were looking for buyers for a rhino horn with a street value of R500 000. The operation led to the arrest of Perring and Terblanche from Gelvandale in Gqeberha on the very same day. One rhino horn and two vehicles were seized during the operation. The duo made their first court appearance at Gqeberha New Law Court and were each released on R10 000 bail. Swartz was later arrested on 11 March 2021 through further investigation after it was discovered that he stole the rhino horn from his employer and sold it to the duo. Swartz was also released on R10 000 bail.

The trio made a series of court appearances before their conviction and sentencing on 15 July 2021. They were each fined R150 000 or 30 months imprisonment of which half of the sentence was suspended for five years.