The Department of Environmental Affairs has welcomed the sentencing of two rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Vryheid Magistrate's Court this week sentenced Philani Khanyile and Nhlathu Siyaya to 10 years in prison for poaching black rhino after they were arrested at a roadblock in 2010 for being in possession of rhino horns.
In a statement, the department also commended the arrest of 13 rhino poaching suspects across the country over the past two weeks.
"This brings to 285 the number of alleged rhino poachers arrested since January this year. A total of 267 alleged poachers were arrested in 2012.
"It is due to the combined efforts of SA National Parks rangers, the SA National Defence Force and the police that the battle against rhino poachers, particularly in the Kruger National Park, will be won. "Were it not for these men and women working at the coalface of rhino poaching in South Africa, many more of these iconic animals will have been poached this year," the department said.