The poaching syndicate that has been killing elephants by cyanide poisoning in the Hwange National Park has been operating for the past five years.
This was revealed by two members of the alleged syndicate when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove on Thursday.
Clever Khumalo (44) and Sipho Mafu (54) are being charged with delivering, or offering toxic substances and also illegally possessing ivory in contravention of the Parks and Wildlife Act and the Environmental Management Act.
The two are jointly charged with Sanelisiwe Dube of 15099 Nkulumane 12 who is still at large. They were allegedly selling the ivory in
Harare and South Africa. In their warned and cautioned statements, Khumalo of 59864/2 Iminyela Flats and Mafu, of Pelandaba Village in Tsholotsho, said they committed the offence in the company of Mthandazo Tshuma, who is on the run and several other people from Bulawayo and Harare.
Khumalo said Mafu supplied him with 25kg of ivory in 2008 which he sold to a Mr Mutemwa in Harare for US$1 000. He said in 2010 he got 54kg of ivory from Tshuma of Binga and used it to make bangles which he sold in Cape Town, South Africa for US$13 000.
Khumalo said Mafu supplied him with 130kg of ivory in 2011, which he smuggled to South Africa using a cross border commuter omnibus operator commonly known as umalayitsha but alleged that he lost the consignment to robbers. More....