Tshidiso Pitso and Hlompho Mary Seoehla, aged 28 and 21, appeared before the Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 20 March 2023, for contravention of Section 88 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004), the Animal Protection Act, 1962 (Act 71 of 1962) and for contravening the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 23 of 2002). They were remanded in custody until their next court appearance on Monday, 24 April 2023.
The duo’s court appearance emanated from their apprehension on Friday, 17 March 2023, in Lehurutshe, by a multidisciplinary team consisting of Lehurutshe STES Unit, Crime Prevention, NSPCA and the Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC) Unit.
Reportedly, the team members followed up on information that a traditional healer chained a monkey to a pole. The team finally arrested the duo for possession of a Vervet monkey, eagle feathers and skins of an African Rock Python snake, without a permit.
The monkey was taken to the State Veterinarian for medical treatment.
In another separate incident, a 69-year-old Modisaotsile Thomas Senosi was arrested on Sunday, 19 March 2023, for contravening Section 72 of the Animal Protection Act, 1962. He was arrested after information was received that he built an electrical trap to scare away stray cattle, leading to electrocution of a cow.
He was granted bail upon appearance before the Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 20 March 2023.
Senosi is expected to reappear before the same court on Monday, 24 April 2023.