Jenni Bipat, The South Coast Herald | October 8, 2020
A South Coast man was arrested for being in possession of a rhino horn valued at R1,2 million after being stopped during a police operation in Pietermaritzburg last week.
Wade van Staden (30) appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday this week where he was charged with possession of a white rhino horn.
He was denied bail.
Van Staden’s next court appearance is on Monday, October 12.
The arrest and recovery was made by the Pietermaritzburg Flying Squad and K9 Unit during a joint operation.
“Officers spotted a black BMW travelling in the southbound lane on the N3 freeway, Orthmann Road.
“The vehicle was searched and a rhino horn, which weighed 1,2kg was found. The value of the rhino horn is R1,2 million.,” said police spokesman,
According to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, 166 rhino had been killed for their horns across the country since the beginning of the year.
Rhino poaching decreased by almost 53 percent in the first six months of 2020, however, during the first six months of 2019, 316 rhino had been poached in South Africa.
Between January and June 2020, the National Prosecuting Authority managed to not only obtain convictions in 15 cases, but maintained a remarkable conviction rate of 100percent.
In addition to these high conviction rates, lengthy sentences were also imposed by the courts.