The war on poaching received a damaging blow when an investigating officer of the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) was charged for killing a protected species in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
The 28-year-old Rabelani Rodney Ndou was arrested on Sunday (15th) after he had allegedly killed a buffalo in the Mobalingwe area of the national park.
According to information supplied, park rangers found the carcass of the buffalo. While the investigation was going on, Ndou and three other suspects approached the scene. When they noticed the rangers, they allegedly tried to run away. Ndou was arrested when he tripped and fell. The other three suspects managed to get away.
A hunting rifle was found in Ndou’s possession. He was charged in the Louis Trichardt District Court on Monday with performing a restricted activity involving alien species without a permit and illegal access to a national park. After a brief appearance, he was released on R3 000 bail.
In the meantime, the police will send Ndou’s rifle for ballistic tests to determine if it was in fact the rifle used to kill the buffalo. The police will also investigate whether Ndou could be linked to the killing of a rhino in the KNP. According to information supplied, park rangers found the carcass of a rhino not far from where the buffalo’s carcass was discovered.
Ndou's case was postponed to 4 June.
The AFU was created to enable the NPA to execute legal seizure of criminal assets. Recently, they seized the assets of accused Dawie Groenewald, Jacques Els and the former leader of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema.