A white rhino standing in the bushes in the Kruger National Park.
Nicolas Deloche / Godong / Universal Images Group via
- Two men were arrested on several charges, including rhino poaching.
- Police spokesman Brigadier Selvi Mohlala said the men were foreign nationals and had entered the park and the country illegally.
- They found two rhinoceros horns and an unlicensed firearm with cartridges.
Two men arrested for poaching rhinos in the Kruger National Park appeared in Skukuza District Court on Thursday.
The men are foreign nationals who entered the country illegally, spokesman Brigadier General Selvi Mohlal said.
They are charged with illegal possession of unlicensed firearms with ammunition and rhino horn, as well as violating the Immigration Act.
Mohlala said they entered the park through the Malelane section.
Kruger Park spokesperson Isaac Faahla told News24 the search began after the manager heard gunshots. The men hid in the bushes.
READ | A new team of rangers will patrol Table Mountain amid rising crime
Faahla said the poachers often acted at the behest of their superiors, although it was still unclear whether they were part of a syndicate or on their own.
“One dead carcass of a white rhino was found close to where they were arrested,” he said, adding that the incident was one of the few poaching incidents in the park this year.
Mohlala said police could not rule out the possibility of additional charges against the two suspects or linking them to other crimes as the investigation progresses.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphne Manamela said the provincial police are taking a tough stance against poachers.
“This should send a clear signal to others who might think of harming the country’s pride in our national parks. We have stated before that we will never allow a situation where people can simply enter the park illegally to poach.
“The law must apply to the suspects and we hope that the investigators working with the prosecution team will do their best to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted without fear or favour,” Manamela said.