Another rhino poacher heavily sentenced


SANParks has welcomed yet another heavy sentence for a rhino poacher in the Skukuza Regional Court.

Mbongeni Ngobeni was found guilty on six charges related to rhino poaching. The crime was committed on 21 June 2016 in the Pretoriuskop section of the Kruger National Park.

“Game wardens arrested him after they heard shots. They followed the track that was found next to a rhinoceros carcass,” says JP Louw, spokesperson for SANParks.

The poacher was tracked down with the help of the dog unit and he was arrested. He had a hunting rifle in his possession. Two of his accomplices got away.

“Ngobeni was released on bail on 9 March 2019 but failed to appear for his court case. The court issued a warrant for his arrest and information was received on 22 December 2023 about his whereabouts. He was arrested again.”

Ngobeni was found guilty and sentenced on Thursday. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for hunting a rhinoceros in a national park; five years for possession of an unlicensed firearm; two years for entering a national park; four years for possession of a firearm with the intent to commit a crime; four years for conspiracy to commit a crime; two years for possession of unlicensed ammunition and one year for possession of a dangerous weapon.

Some of the sentences will be served concurrently and Ngobeni will effectively serve 17 years in prison.

‌RNews earlier reported that Terrence Patrick Makhubela was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison for poaching-related offenses in the same court.