S. Africa: Rhino poacher given bail while out on bail for the same crime

The fight against rhino poaching and crime in general will never be won as long as alleged key figures in these offences are treated with kid gloves – as in the recent case in Mpumalanga where a key figure in rhino poaching was granted and released on bail while he was already out on bail for a previous charge against him also related to poaching, one that has been dragging on for more than ten years at that.

Two men from Mbombela (Nelspruit) were granted bail on charges of rhino poaching. Both are well-known local businessmen. And both were caught red-handed last month (July) in Mbombela, each with 19 rhino horns in their possession.

The FF Plus welcomes the fact that they were arrested, but finds it unacceptable that there is a court case against one of the suspects which has been dragging on since 2010 due to one postponement after another.

The latest official statistics released by Sanparks indicate that the world’s largest population of rhino – found in the Kruger National Park – has decreased with between 66% and 70% over the course of the last decade.

This is mainly due to the incessant attacks, and consequent devastation, by international rhino poaching syndicates in which many South Africans are implicated.

Decisive police action and severe punishments for rhino poachers are needed to save the white rhino species from extinction.

The fact that the Skukuza Regional Court, which specialises in these cases, was retained serves as proof that the solution remains with the justice system.

On Tuesday, the FF Plus called on Mr Vusi Shongwe, MEC for Community Safety, to investigate the reasons why the one suspect’s court case has been dragging on for so long.

He was also asked to ensure that all pending investigations and cases against the two men, including the latest charges, must be finalised as soon as possible.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Werner Weber on FF Plus

Source: https://southafricatoday.net/south-africa-news/mpumalanga/rhino-poacher-caught-with-19-horns-given-bail-while-out-on-bail-for-the-same-crime/

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