Killing of 2 Kruger National Park rhinos – Poacher handed 22 year sentence

South African Police Service

Killing of 2 Kruger National Park rhinos –  Poacher handed 22 year sentence
Killing of 2 Kruger National Park rhinos - Poacher handed 22 year sentence. Photo: SAPS

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has positively acknowledged and noted with much appreciation, the short time taken by the court working with a formidable team consisting of the Police investigators as well as the Prosecutors.

This follows the sentencing meted out by the Skukuza Regional Court against a rhino poacher on Tuesday 4 July 2023.

Enock Ngobeni (31) poached and killed two rhinos at the Kruger National Park on 17 April 2022.

The court heard how the accused together with his accomplice entered the Kruger National Park through Tshokwane Section for rhino poaching.

After killing two rhinos, the two men dehorned the animals.

Field Rangers employed by South African National Parks (SANPARKS) were working on that fateful evening and they became aware of the intruders. The rangers eventually apprehended one of the intruders meanwhile his accomplice somehow got away and he is still at large.

During the time of his capture, the accused was found with four rhino horns as well as incriminating exhibits suspected to have been used during the commission of the crime.

The Rangers alerted the police in Skukuza about the incident and the accused was arrested as well as charged accordingly. During the investigation, it was discovered that the accused was originally from Mozambique and he did not have valid documentation to be in South Africa hence an additional charge of contravention of the Immigration Act was laid against him.

The accused was then taken to court where he eventually pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him hence he was sentenced as follows:

On count 1 (trespassing in the Kruger National Park), the accused was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

On count 2, (contravention of the immigration act), the accused was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

On count 3 (carrying out a restricted activity involving or protected species without a permit), the accused was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

On count 4 (carrying out a restricted activity involving or protected species without a permit), the accused was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment).

On Count 5 (conspiracy to commit an offence), the accused was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

On count 6 (possession of dangerous weapon), the accused was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

The court has ordered that Count 1 and 2 run concurrently meanwhile Count 4,5 and 6 will run concurrently as well.

This implies that the accused was effectively sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela further thanked the Field Rangers from SANParks, the Investigation team, the Prosecution team as well as the Judiciary. “We hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrence to others who might consider emulating the actions of the perpetrator” said the General.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service