A poacher was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for poaching, by Skukuza Regional court on May 2022.
According provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, Sam Khoza,(47) was sentenced following an incident in which three armed intruders entered the Kruger National Park through section on 11 November 2020, they were spotted by the field Ranger who were on duty that day.
When the three men noticed the field rangers, a shooting ensued. Two of the suspects evaded the arrests but Khoza, who sustained some injuries during the shooting was captured. The police at Skukuza were notified about the incident and upon their arrival, the accused was arrested and charged accordingly. During his arrest he was found in possession of a rifle, some ammunition as well as a silencer,” he said.
After he recovered from his injuries, he was presented before Skukuza Regional Court, facing the charge of being in possession of prohibited firearm, possession of illegal ammunition as well as for possession of dangerous weapon. The case was handed over to the Skukuza Stock Theft Unit, experts in the field of probing matters which are related to illegal poaching.
The team worked tirelessly to ensure that the accused gets convicted and sentenced. During the tour of their investigation, they discovered that the accused was born in the country of Mozambique and was in South Africa illegally hence the charge of contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa was added against him.“The team presented their case before court, with overwhelming evidence which was indisputable and has then led the accused with no choice but to surrender hence on Friday, 20 May 2022, he pleaded guilty to all the charges. Khoza was therefore sentenced accordingly,” explain Mohlala.
The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Daphney Manamela has commended the collaborative effort displayed by the team of field rangers, the investigation team, the Prosecution team, and the Judiciary which culminated into the sentencing of the accused. “We hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrence to those you might think of emulating the actions of the accused. We hope by now people have learnt that one can be severely punished for unauthorized killing of wild animals” said the General.