Rhino poachers sentenced to 13 years in prison

Photo: bangthegavel

LIMPOPO – The sentencing forms part of two separate cases in which three criminals were given lengthy jail terms in two separate incidents by two separate courts.

Offences included rhino poaching and rape.

In Bela-Bela, Sakkie Malaza (36) and Michael Makau (42) were both sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for the following offences

– 13 years for hunting protected species (rhinos).

– 10 years for possession of unlicensed firearm.

– Five years for possession of unlicensed ammunition.

On 27 February 2013, a police operation composing of the TRT and the Endangered Species Unit intercepted a group of suspects and arrested two of them from Gauteng Province.

The two suspects were en route to shoot rhinos at Mabalingwe Farm in Bela-Bela.

Sakkie Malaza was arrested on the farm with firearms, ammunition and an axe in his possession.

Police spokesperson Lt Col Moatshe Ngoepe says the other two suspects managed to run away and  Michael Makau, who was the driver of the getaway vehicle, was arrested along the road in front of the farm.

In Tzaneen, Kgashane Rodney Monyela (37) from Mokgolobotho village in Ritavi was sentenced to an effective 12 years imprisonment with no fine, for raping a 46-year-old woman who lived in the same village.

“On 25 January 2014, at about 21:30, the victim was on her way home from a local shop but before she could enter into her homestead, she was attacked by the accused who forcefully undressed her and raped her,” explains Ngoepe.

He concluded by saying he hopes that these sentences will serve as a deterrent to all criminals or criminals to be that crime does not pay.

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Raeesa Kimmie

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