Fired Hawks spokesman, McIntosh Polela, has pleaded guilty to four counts of poaching protected species at The Swamp Nature Reserve, in Himeville.
He was fined R30 000 and disqualified from applying for a hunting licence for two years after his guilty plea was accepted.
He had entered into a plea bargain with the state.
Polela has to pay R10 000 before the end of January and the balance by March.
On Thursday morning he appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court where he was found guilty of two counts of hunting common reedbuck and a grey duiker – both protected species.
His plea of guilty to hunting without a permit and using artificial lights to hunt, which is prohibited, was also accepted.
His hunting rifle, silencer, scope and tripod were also confiscated.
He refused to comment to the media, making a quick exit immediately after pleading.
All offences were committed on February 7 this year at the Swamp Nature Reserve in Himmeville.
In amplification of his plea, Polela said that on the night in question, he was invited to join a hunting party at the nature reserve.
He said that as he had grown up in that area, he regarded it as his ancestral land and had often hunted there without incidents. However, he said that he had become aware prior to this incident that legislation existed which controlled the hunting of certain game and admitted that he was reckless in ignoring this legislation.
The Daily News reported at the time that a KwaZulu-Natal farmer had caught Polela “red-handed” at the reserve.
Approached for comment then, Polela had denied he had done anything wrong. He also had told the Daily News that he had not known the buck was a protected species or that he needed a permit. He had dismissed the incident as nothing but an attempt by a white farmer to treat a black person as a criminal for hunting. More....