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Media Release: SANParks applauds court sentence
Date: 9th July 2014
South African Nationals Parks (SANParks) today welcomed the sentencing of two Mozambican Nationals to 16 years in prison for poaching and related offences. They were sentenced in the Nelspruit Magistrates Court.
Ephraim Bila and Ndombama Salvatore Nkuna were arrested in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in April 2013 by SANParks Rangers after they had killed and dehorned a white rhino. They were sentenced to 10 years for killing the rhino, four years for trespassing and carrying out a restricted activity in a restricted area, and six years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The 10- and four-year sentences would run concurrently.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Abe Sibiya commended the courts for imposing the lengthy jail terms. “We are happy that the courts have rewarded the hard work done by the Rangers, our Environmental Crime Investigative Unit and the South African Police. This sentence will certainly make potential poachers think twice, before crossing the fence to plunder our natural heritage. The sentencing will also help to lift the morale of all men and women in uniform who are in the trenches fighting this scourge of rhino poaching” said Sibiya.
The KNP has lost 351 animals to poaching this year and 60 people were arrested in connection with some of the cases. Sibiya went on to say SANParks is not prepared to give up the fight to save the rhino species.
“We are resolute in our determination to win this war that is being waged by greedy individuals, these assets belong to the South African people and we are prepared to ensure their future existence as mandated ” concluded Sibiya.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999
Media Specialist SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5315; Cell: 083 673 6974