Rhino Poachers get 10 year sentence

3 December 2014

Three men have been sentenced to 10 years in prison each for rhino poaching by the Skukuza Periodical Court in the Kruger National Park. Their charges included trespassing, illegal hunting and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition.

Julea Khasa, Thomas Mashele and Bright Chikunga were arrested in Nwanetsi in the park in October 2014. During their arrest, they were found in possession of two rhino horns.
The number of rhinos killed in the country since the beginning of the year is now above 1020. The Kruger National Park is the hardest hit having lost more than 670 rhinos in the past eleven months.

More than 344 suspected rhino poachers have been arrested since January. Thirty-eight suspected rhino poachers appeared at the Skukuza Periodical Court on Wednesday alone. Their cases have been postponed.

In the same court, two Mozambican men, Khasa, Mashele and their co-accused Chikunga from Zimbabwe were sentenced 10 years imprisonment for illegal hunting, five years for possession of firearms, 18 months for ammunitions and three months for trespassing.
The State Prosecutor Isabet Erwee says the three men were given lenient sentences because they pleaded guilty on all the charges.
Their sentences will run concurrently.

Rhino poaching continues despite all the measures that are put in place by government and various Non- Governmental Organisations aimed at curbing the illegal killing of these animals. 

SABC report

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