The Skukuza Regional Court sentenced Solly Ndima, a 34-year-old man from Mozambique, for poaching and several other related offences, the terms of which will be served concurrently, but add up to 25 years’ worth.
Ndima pleaded guilty to trespassing in the Kruger National Park, contravention of the Immigration Act, possession of a prohibited, obliterated firearm, possession of ammunition and the illegal hunting and killing of rhino. Ndima was also found in possession of an axe.
Ndima and his accomplice Lucky Sibuyi were arrested in September 2014 near Lower Sabie by rangers.
The latter pleaded not guilty and as a result the state applied for a separation of trial, and his hearing was set for May 25 this year.
The state prosecutor, Abednigo Mgiba, addressed the court about the impact of rhino poaching on the environment. He said poaching affected the environment by depleting certain species of animals which can cause endangered species to become extinct. He argued for a suitable sentence.
The magistrate, MJ Ngobeni, sentenced Ndima to three years imprisonment for trespassing, one year for contravention of the Immigration Act, five years for the possession of prohibited, obliterated firearm, three years for the possession of ammunition, 12 years for illegal hunting and killing of a rhino and another year for the possession of an axe. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently.
The National Prosecuting Authority welcomed the conviction and sentence.
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