The Skukuza Regional Court convicted and sentenced Elphas Xidzinga (28) to 14 years of direct imprisonment on January 17.
The accused Xidzinga pleaded guilty and was convicted of possession of a firearm and conspiracy to commit an offence. The court declared that he is unfit to possess a firearm in terms of the Firearms Control Act.
His conviction came thereafter. On November 19, 2015, Elphas, Jaftha Xidzinga, and Mavis Chauke were arrested. On that day, the trio disguised themselves as visitors and sought to enter the Kruger Park through Numbi Gate. During a vehicle check, rangers uncovered a hunting weapon with an obliterated serial number tucked beneath the seat.
His brother, Jaftha, was granted bail, but absconded. Chauke pleaded not guilty and her trial was postponed to February 8.
Monica Nyuswa, the National Prosecuting Authority’s regional spokesperson, said it remains their commitment to prosecute poaching-related cases to combat the scourge of rhino poaching.