Thu. Jun 20th, 2019

Rhino poaching: Ndlovu trio get 25 years behind bars

Rhino poaching ndlovu gangThree members of the infamous Rhino poaching Ndlovu gang have each been sent down for 25 years in prison.

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A trio of rhino poachers were each sentenced to an effective 25 years in prison by the Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda on Wednesday.

Jabulani Ndlovu, 40, Forget Ndlovu, 37, and Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, 38, were found guilty on a total of 55 charges relating to the poaching of Rhinos and the harvesting of their horns.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Sbongile Soci has said that no incidents of darting rhino had been reported since the arrest of the poaching gang members in 2016.

The trio had been apprehended in a chalet at the Makana Resort with 10.27 kilogrammes of freshly harvested rhino horn, a bloody saw, a dart gun and M99 tranquilising drug as well as other paraphernalia.

Operation Full Moon was instituted by police in the Eastern Cape to protect the province’s rhino poaching problems and helped SAPS arrest and charge a prolific poaching syndicate, who are believed to be responsible for many more deaths in both the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga said: “The sentence is the outcome of the SAPS’s unwavering commitment in the fight against wildlife crimes which are interlinked to organised crime. The diligence of the investigators and other specialised disciplines of the SAPS together with the NPA did not go unnoticed in this landmark case.”

South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s population of wild rhinos, but since 2008 there has been a huge increase in poaching, driven by syndicates like the Ndlovu gang. Police hope this case will act as a deterrent against further poaching activity.

The recent decline in the number of attacks on rhinos may demonstrate that the anti-poaching initiatives are effective. It could also demonstrate that with significantly fewer rhinos surviving in the wild, it is getting harder for poachers to locate their prey.

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