Three rhino poachers have each been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being arrested in November 2014 on a game farm at Lephalale (Ellisras) in Limpopo.
Earlier this week, Adam Mandla Sithole, Sam Ivorgercillio Mujovu and Respect Reason Muthonzi were convicted in Lephalale Regional Court for violation of the Limpopo Environmental Management Act, violation of the Firearms Control Act and possession of an illegal firearm whose serial number was filed.
The three were sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison after the judge ordered that the sentences be served concurrently.
Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in Limpopo, said unknown footprints were found on November 18, 2014 on a farm near Lephalale and police were called.
“Officers started catching up with the accused, after which the accused fired at the officers. The officers shot back one of the men wounded before all three were arrested. “
According to Malabi-Dzhangi, one of the accused admitted during the trial that they were on the farm to hunt rhinos.
The accused were also declared unfit to possess a firearm.