The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma hailed a team of law enforcement, NPA and the judiciary for their efforts in ensuring that a 33-year-old man receives no less than an effective 22 year prison term for poaching. This is after the Skukuza Magistrate's Court meted the harsh sentence to Musa Khoza from Manyeveni in Kabokweni, near White River on Tuesday, 30 April 201, for poaching activities in the Kruger National Park.
The accused was arrested in the Park on 02 September 2016, for poaching and has been in and out of court until the sentence which was passed on the above-mentioned day.
He faced a number of charges which include entering a national park without permission or authority (trespass), carrying out of a restricted activity involving threatened or poaching protected species without a permit, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, possession of a dangerous weapon and receiving stolen property knowing it to be stolen .
The court sentenced Khoza to an effective 22 years direct imprisonment without the option of a fine.
Meanwhile police at Skukuza are looking for a suspect who absconded from a crime scene after an altercation through the barrel of a gun with the suspects that took place in the park on 26 April 2019.
It all spiralled when police received information about two suspects who were planning to enter the park with intent to poach. A joint operational team comprising of police and Rangers managed to track down the duo. The suspects started shooting at the law enforcement team and they (team) retaliated, causing a shootout which resulted in one of the suspects being fatally wounded. A hunting rifle with ammunition and two carry bags were seized.
The other suspect managed to escape into the bushes and is still at large. Anyone with information that will assist in tracking down the suspect or establish his identity is requested to contact Warrant Officer Chris Leroy at 082 448 9613 or call the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111
General Zuma said the police, Kruger National Park Rangers and other law enforcement agencies will not sit idle whilst the fauna and flora of our beautiful country is being depleted by greedy marauding gangs.
"It is sad that whilst some criminals are being sentenced/arrested some are still coming into the park looking to make a quick buck at the expense of the citizens of the province and country", said the General.