Namibian Sun

15 January 2021

 Six suspected rhino poachers arrested

Francoise Steynberg

Six men suspected of rhino poaching have been arrested after a white rhino bull was poached in the Okahandja district last week.

According to the head of the Blue Rhino task team, Commissioner Barry de Klerk, the carcass of the bull – with its horns removed – was discovered around 07h30 on a private game reserve.“Detectives from the task force and the protected species unit of the Namibian police launched an intelligence-driven investigation last Saturday.

During a secret operation, two suspects, Jeff Makayi Nadango (36) and Stefanus Muyenga Musore (49), were arrested in the Lafrenz Industrial Area of Windhoek with two fresh rhino horns in their possession,” De Klerk told Namibian Sun’s sister publication, Republikein, yesterday.”Further investigation by the team led to the Otjetu settlement in Okahandja where four more Namibian men were arrested on the same day. An unlicensed hunting rifle with ammunition as well as other poaching equipment and the vehicle used during the crime were seized.

“The four suspects are Zekka Petrus Ihemba (45), Mayembe Alfeus Kamwengo (38), Matyayi Thomas Sivambo (36) and 50-year-old Kativa Frans Musenge. Poaching syndicateAccording to De Klerk, the suspects are part of a poaching syndicate, and one of the suspects is employed on the farm where the rhino was poached.

All the suspects have already appeared in court, he said, adding that Nadango and Musore appeared in the Okahandja Magistrate’s Court and remain in custody until their next court appearance on 24 June.The other four accused appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura. They also remain in custody until their next appearance on 25 March.De Klerk has confirmed that the white rhino bull is the first rhino to be poached in the country in 2021.