The Makhado Regional Court has on Monday condemned Musa Simango to six years imprisonment after he was found guilty of attempted rhino poaching, unlawful possession of ammunition and trespassing.
The 19-year-old Mozambican national and two of his accomplices were cornered by the Vlakteplaas’ ranger while strolling around the Punda Maria in October this year. The cross fire then ensued between the suspects and rangers. One suspect, Derrick Maluleke (34) was fatally wounded and another one managed to escape.
The sentence was praised by Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Fannie Masemola who applauded the magistrate for a good sentence. “The killing of rhinos is a huge concern as we applaud the rangers for confronting the suspects before they pounce on a rhino. The more hefty sentences the court gives to rhino poachers the better for our vulnerable rhinos”, Masemola said.
He also congratulated Investigating Officer Lieutenant Willie Taute of Musina Stock Theft Unit for successfully opposing bail and securing the conviction.