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2022/11/23      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 22 November 2022 - The Courts continue to sentence poachers who intrude the National Parks for poaching. Muxiyi Nelyo Hlangwana (33) and Khensa Timote Chauke (23) are amongst poachers that got punished. The two were sentenced by the Skukuza Regional Court this afternoon, 22 November 2022.

It is said that on 19 April 2022, Hlangwana and Chauke entered the Kruger National Park through Sabi Game Park armed with high calibre hunting rifle as well as other hunting equipment. They were inside the Park until on 19 April 2022, when field rangers working at Tshokwane Section spotted two sets of human footprints at Sundwini. The rangers made a follow-up with more resources brought in, which included tracking dogs.

The two were soon caught around 12h30 pm then summoned SANPARKS officials as well as SAPS members to attend the scene. Hlangwana and Chauke were then arrested and charged accordingly. They were found in possession of a high calibre hunting rifle with a silencer, four live ammunition an axe, pack backs and food. Through investigation it was discovered that the two were from the country of Mozambique and did not have valid documentation to be in South Africa.

Both appeared at Skukuza Regional Court where they pleaded guilty from the first day hence they were sentenced today (22 November 2022) as follows: On count (1) for contravention of Immigration Act the two accused were sentenced to one year imprisonment and on count (2) for Trespassing, the two were sentenced to two years imprisonment. On count (3) of conspiracy to commit an offence they were sentenced to four years. Meanwhile until on count 4 of possession of dangerous weapon (an Axe), they were both sentenced to one year imprisonment. The court has ordered that count 1 and count 2 will run concurrently whilst count 3 and count 4 will run concurrently. The two accused will serve an effective 6 years imprisonment.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the sentence which should serve as a deterrence to others who might consider emulating the actions of the accused.