The South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the sentencing of three rhino poachers to a total of 105 years in prison for rhino poaching and other offences by the Skukuza Regional Court.
The poachers were arrested in 2017 after killing three rhinos in the Marula (southern) section of the Kruger National Park.
Two of the convicted poachers, Shangani Mathebula and Emmanuel Mdhluli are from Mozambique; while Walter Hendrik Mangane is South African.
When handing out the sentences, the magistrate explained in detail the manner in which the three poachers killed three rhinos in execution-style and were caught red-handed whilst in the process of slaughtering the animals.
Reacting to the sentences the Managing Executive of the KNP, Gareth Coleman congratulated the Environmental Crime Investigative Unit and Ranger Services for working closely with the Investigating Officer and the other South African Police Service Units to bring solid evidence before the court.
“These sentences should serve as a deterrent to those intending to come and kill our natural heritage and destroying the livelihoods of our people.
We have in the past few months intensified our security efforts in the Park to good effect but successful convictions require that the prosecutorial and justice pillars in our society are operating effectively.
These sentences will motivate the teams who work tirelessly day and night to protect our fauna and flora,” concluded Coleman.