Two suspected rhino poachers are recovering in hospital after a shootout ensued at the Kruger National Park last week after the suspects were found trespassing in the park in Mpumalanga. Mozambican national Carlos Ngwane and Victor Mashile, whose nationality is not known, were arrested in separate areas but not without resistance in the form of a gun battle with the rangers. Both suspects were shot and wounded before they were arrested. The first incident happened at Malelane at about 20:00 on 5 May 2015 and the second incident happened at Crocodile Bridge at 00:50. Two hunting rifles fitted with silencers, 14 rounds of ammunition and two axes were seized. The rifles were sent to the SAPS’s Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria for ballistic tests to determine if they were used to commit other crimes. Both suspects are under police guard at a local hospital after they were wounded during a shootout. The suspects appeared at the White River Magistrates’ Court in absentia last week.
Investigation is still continuing and it is not known yet, whether the suspects may have been involved in other rhino poaching incidents. The cases are being investigated by the Skukuza Rhino Task Team. The suspects are facing charges of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition, possession of dangerous weapons, and trespassing in a national park. They will appear in the White River Magistrates’ Court once they have been discharged from hospital.