Defence Web (South Africa)

62

The South African National Parks (SANParks) has congratulated the Justice Department in Mozambique for successfully convicting and sentencing two poachers for killing two rhinos in the Limpopo National Park.

The two from Mapai District in Gaza Province were sentenced to 17 and 16 years in prison respectively for the crime of slaughtering protected animals, illegal possession of unlicensed weapons, and illegal possession of ammunition. The sentencing also includes compensation to the Park for damages caused.

The historic conviction and sentence is the first in Mozambique since the scourge of rhino poaching emerged in 2008 leading to a memorandum of understanding between South Africa and Mozambique to counter illegal wild life crime, SANParks said.

The investigation was in collaboration with the SANParks Environmental Crime Investigative Unit in Phalaborwa.

SANParks Chief Executive and Kruger National Park (KNP) Acting Managing Executive, Fundisile Mketeni, applauded the sentencing with the emphasis that if all parties work together they can curb the poaching scourge.

“Some of the people we arrest in the Kruger National Park for poaching are from Mozambique. It gives one so much hope to note that the authorities in that country are taking the fight against poaching seriously. We also note that this is the first conviction and sentencing of rhino poaching in Mozambique since 2008 and we congratulate and encourage them for ensuring that justice is prevalent in this fight,” said Mketeni.