Cop bust with rhino horns was on duty

MARCH 2, 2015

The case of an on-duty police officer who was arrested last week trying to sell rhino horns to an undercover task team was postponed until 23 April.

On 24 February, members of the Head Office Crime Intelligence Division in conjunction with officers from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) West Rand, East Rand and West Rand K9 Units arrested the alleged crooked cop and his two accomplices for being in illegal possession of rhino horns during a sting operation at a mall in Irene.

“The police officer, Captain Mandla Khomalo, aged 42 was on duty at the time of the arrest. He is based at the West Rand Crime Intelligence unit,” the police said in a statement.

“His two accomplices, Ntsikagomzi Saliwa, aged 30 and Ethelbert Radebe, aged 42 were immediately arrested at the mall. Three rhino horns were found in their possession and subsequently seized.”

The suspects appeared at the Pretoria Magistrates' Court last Thursday on charges of illegal possession of rhino horns and were granted bail of R15 000 each.

This comes as the number of rhino poached in South Africa has shot from 13 in 2005 to 1 215 in 2014. The number killed in 2015 already stands at more than 110.