6 Eastern Cape rhino poachers handed hefty sentences

South African Police Service

6 Eastern Cape rhino poachers handed hefty sentences
6 Eastern Cape rhino poachers handed hefty sentences. Photo: Pixabay

Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Nomthetheleli Mene has hailed the lengthy sentencing of six rhino poachers in the Makhanda High court yesterday afternoon, 14 June 2023.

The six accused were convicted in September 2022 for poaching rhino horns at various game reserves in the Eastern Cape during 2016, 2017and 2018.

Five of the six accused had escaped from the Makhanda Facility in October 2022.They have since been re-arrested and a case of escape from lawful custody was opened against them.

All six accused were convicted on charges of conspiracy to poach rhinos.

The accused were sentenced as follows:

Francis Chitiyo – 20 years
Trymore Chauke -17 years
Mischek Chauke – 16 years
Simba Masinge – 17 years
Nyamo Moyambo – 19 years
Abraham Moyambo – 18 years

The prosecutor praised the excellent investigation headed by the SAPS Jeffreys Bay Stock Theft and Endangered Species Commander, Capt Mornay Viljoen who is also responsible for all rhino poaching investigations in the Province.

The conviction of conspiracy to poach rhinos was the first in the Eastern Cape Province and this was attributed to the excellent testimony of Capt Viljoen.

Lt Gen Mene commended the investigating team. ‘Credit must go to the detective officers whose hard work and attention to detail played a crucial role in securing such hefty sentences. The sentences meted out on the accused is the outcome of the SAPS’s unwavering commitment in the fight against wildlife crimes which are linked to organised crime. We will continue to cooperate with role players to implement robust measures to curb rhino poaching and to arrest perpetrators of this crime within the Eastern Cape borders,’ added Lt Gen Mene.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service