Sanparks employee arrested with 3 other poachers in Kruger Park

17 February 2019 - 10:39 By timeslive

A freshly cut set of rhino horns along with a hunting rifle and ammunition were seized from four men - including a SANparks employee - at the Kruger National Park at the weekend.

The four men now under arrest are aged between 23 and 47.

SANparks officials had received information about the four suspects who were reportedly about to exit the park, travelling in two vehicles. Officials pounced on them, with the assistance of a SANparks chopper that had to land on the road in order to blockade the fleeing men's vehicles, said police.

The suspects will appear at the Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing among others, charges of illegal hunting, possession of a hunting rifle and ammunition without a licence as well as trespassing.

The battle against South Africa's wildlife being decimated through poaching continues to be a challenge.

Government recently disclosed that 769 rhino poaching cases were registered last year.

In addition, 71 elephants were poached in the Kruger National Park between January 1 and December 31 2018. One elephant was also killed in KwaZulu-Natal, which brings the total for South Africa to 72 elephants for 2018.

Meanwhile, another two men, aged 36 and 31, will appear at the Hendrina Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of possession of a firearm as well as ammunition without a licence.

Their appearance stems from their arrest at the weekend during a routine police stop and search operation. They were found in possession of a revolver, a toy pistol and ammunition.

The provincial commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma, praised the teams for their contribution to "remove the rotten elements from society".