Two suspected rhino poachers were stopped in their tracks early Friday morning in the Eastern Cape and are expected to appear in the Fort Beaufort Magistrate’s Court on Monday on poaching-related charges.
Col. Priscilla Naidu, police spokesperson, says members of the Port Alfred police’s dog unit and security officers from a private game reserve stopped a vehicle on the R67 at the Koonap River between Makhanda and Fort Beaufort at around 06:00.
“The vehicle was searched after which a .375 rifle and ammunition, as well as poaching equipment hidden in the vehicle, were found.”
The two suspects are between 30 and 40 years old and come from Tembisa in Gauteng. They stand trial on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Maj. Gen. Zolani Xawuka, head of the Sarah Baartman policing district, welcomed the arrests and says that rhino poaching poses a significant threat to this already vulnerable species.
“The consequences of rhino poaching will be serious. We will not tolerate the continued exploitation of our wildlife and are working with wildlife conservation to prosecute offenders.”