Pretoria : 31 January 2017 – This week during an intelligence-driven operation, a South African Police National Intervention Team arrested six Mpumalanga men in connection with a spate of rhino poaching cases in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.

The intervention team assigned to combat rhino poaching in various parts of the country initially arrested one suspect outside the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve followed by the arrest of another five suspects at a bed and breakfast in Nongoma. The team also recovered a rifle, several rounds of ammunition, knives, a silencer and rain coats. The rifle is being sent for ballistic testing to establish if it was used to commit of other crimes.

The six men, aged between 30 and 40 years, appeared in the Matubatuba Magistrates’ court today on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and conspiracy to poach rhinos.

The suspects have been identified as Thabo Mohlala (31), Holy Ndlovu (27), George Kenneth Ndlovu (40), Given Mokoena (37), Leon Steven Staltz (32) and Thabani Sbusiso Mdlalose (32).

All suspects have been remanded in custody to allow for further investigation. They will be brought before a magistrate in the KwaMsane court next week.