The ongoing police operations in and around the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga continue to yield positive results.
Yesterday, members of Operation Rhino arrested two suspected rhino poachers at Nyongane in Hazyview, Mpumalanga in the early hours of this morning. One suspect was found with five 458 PMP rifle rounds, four R5 rounds, two PMP 270 rounds, one PMP 71 MR7 round and an air rifle. His accomplice was found with a hunting rifle, one homemade silencer and a firearm barrel.
The former suspect was charged with possession of a prohibited firearm whilst the latter was charged with illegal possession of ammunition. The duo were detained at Hazyview police cells and will appear in court soon.
Last week four suspects were arrested for possession of firearms, cloning of bank cards, possession of banking cards and negligent handling of a firearm.
On May 19, 2015 a police team made up of crime intelligence and National Investigative Unit arrested Mandla Mbuyane, 45, for possession of a .22 Rifle, 54 live rounds of ammunition for .22 rifle and for 9mm pistol, axes, jackets and bags. Mabuyane was detained at the Hazyview Police Station. He appeared at Kabokweni Magistrates’ Court on May 20, 2015 and the case was postponed to June 23, 2015.
In the second incident Elson Kubayi, 62, and Welcome Mokoena, 51, were arrested when the police found a 9mm pistol with 14 rounds of ammunition under the driver’s seat of a vehicle belonging to Mokoena. Kubayi who was driving the vehicle at the time of the stop and search claimed that the vehicle belonged to Mokoena.
The police drove to Mokoena’a residence where they arrested him for negligent mishandling of a firearm whilst Kubayi was charged for possession of an unlicenced firearm. Kubayi and Mokoena were detained at the Hazyview Police Station and have since appeared in the Masoyi Magistrates’ Court.
And elsewhere in Kanyamazane, Colben Chilenge, 35, and Desmond Matlaka, 32, were arrested on May 19, 2015 for possession of counterfeit bank cards and skimming device. Chilenge and Matlaka appeared at Kanyamazana Magistrates’ Court on May 20, 2015 and their case was postponed to May 26, 2015 for a formal bail application.
Meanwhile, on May 14, 2015 two rhino poaching suspects were sentenced by the Nelspruit Regional Court in Mpumalanga to 30 years imprisonment after they were found guilty of illegal hunting of protected species in a national park, possession of an unlicenced firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm with the intention to commit a crime and trespassing in a national park.
Mozambican nationals Silver Tibane, 33, and Mucindi Abondi, 24, were arrested at the Tshokwane section of the Kruger National Park during Operation Rhino in the evening of October 2, 2014. Field rangers of the Tshokwane section had responded to gunshots that were heard in the section and during an investigation they managed to identify and apprehend the suspects.
Tibane and Abondi were found in possession of a .375 hunting rifle, two .375 rounds, one .375 cartridge case, two rhino horns worth an estimated R500 000 and an axe. On May 14, 2015 Tibane and Abondi appeared in the Nelspruit regional Court and pleaded guilty on all charges.
Source : South African Police Service