A 35-year-old man, who was caught attempting to hunt in the Kruger National Park in November last year, was sentenced to an effective nine years’ imprisonment by the Skukuza Regional Court on Thursday August 24.
According to a provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, Mozambican national Thomas Yingwana (35) had been in the country illegally when he was found in Lower Sabie in November, armed with a hunting rifle and ammunition.
Mohlala said field rangers patrolling the area came across human footprints, tracing them to Yingwana. He was also found in possession of other items that were suspected to be used for hunting purposes.
He said there was overwhelming evidence against Yingwana. Yingwana pleaded guilty on Wednesday August 23.
He was found guilty of the following:
Count 1: Trespassing. For this he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Count 2: Contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa. He was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for this count.
Count 3: Possession of an unlicensed firearm. For this he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
Count 4: Illegal possession of ammunition. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Count 5: Possession of an unlicensed firearm with an intention to commit crime. For this he was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
Count 6: Possession of a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment.
Count 1 and 2 will run concurrently. Count 3, 4 and 5 will also run concurrently, while count 6 will run alone. He will effectively spend nine years behind bars. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.