Two rhino poaching suspects were sentenced by the Nelspruit Regional Court in Mpumalanga to 30 years imprisonment after they were found guilty of illegal hunting of protected species in a national park.
They were also found guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm with the intention to commit a crime and trespassing in a national park.
Mozambican nationals Silver Tibane, 33, and Mucindi Abondi, 24, were arrested at the Tshokwane section of the Kruger National Park during Operation Rhino in the evening of October 2, 2014.
Field rangers of the Tshokwane section had responded to gunshots that were heard in the section and during an investigation they managed to identify and apprehend the suspects.
Tibane and Abondi were found in possession of a hunting rifle and ammunition, two rhino horns worth an estimated R 500 000 and an axe.
On 14 May 2015 Tibane and Abondi appeared in the Nelspruit regional Court and pleaded guilty on all charges.