Sangoma gets heavy sentence for rhino poaching

Prison Hands 2

MBOMBELA – The Nelspruit Regional Court recently passed a heavy sentence to a 35-year-old traditional healer, convicted guilty of rhino poaching.

On January 25 the court sentenced Mr Simon Ngomane to 28 years imprisonment for charges of trespassing, illegal hunting of rhinos, theft of rhino horns, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Read: Minister Mahlobo reportedly “implicated” in rhino poaching

“The accused in this matter is a traditional healer and is one of the three who was shot and arrested following a shootout with rangers in the Tshokwane area of the Kruger National Park on December 11, 2011. Rhino horns were found on the scene during the time of their arrest. Two of his accomplices escaped to Mozambique,” explained NPA regional spokesperson, Ms Monica Nyuswa.

Also Read: Police men arrested for rhino poaching

“The bail against the accused was refused as the state believed he might flee the country. During the trial, Advocate Isabet Erwee led evidence of rangers, ballistic reports for the firearm that was used during the incident, the recovered rhino horns as well as the DNA report,” she added.

Handing down the judgement, Magistrate Andre Geldenhuys, stated that the crimes committed were motivated by sheer greed, hence he sentenced the accused to 28 years direct imprisonment.

Welcoming the sentence, the DPP in Mpumalanga, Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, applauded the work done by Adv Erwee and the team with the hope that it will serve as a deterrent to like-minded poachers.

Thobile Mlangeni

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