Five suspected rhino poachers who appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court in North West yesterday will remain in custody until next Monday.
15 February 2012 | AARIFAH NOSARKA
JOHANNESBURG – Five suspected rhino poachers who appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court in North West yesterday will remain in custody until next Monday.
“They were arrested on Tuesday, as part of on-going investigations,” said provincial police spokesman, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.
He said police are on a drive to curb this great concern facing the country. “We are watching and will make sure we catch these rhino poachers,” said Ngubane.
A syndicate had apparently been operating near Assen in the North West. According to Pelham Jones, chairman of the Private Rhino Owners’ Association, suspected rhino poachers were apprehended on Tuesday afternoon.
“Members approached a North West reserve.
They were spotted and before arrests could be made, one suspect produced a firearm.
In a shoot-out between police and the suspects, one perpetrator was wounded,” said Jones.
After arresting the suspects, a .458 calibre rifle, 14 rounds of ammunition, a panga and two axes were found in the confiscated vehicle.
The South African National Parks (SANparks) said 30 arrests were made to date for this year.
“It is worrying that we are still losing such a high number of rhinos throughout the country,’ said CEO of SANparks David Mabunda.
The men aged between 43 and 59 will appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for bail application.