Poacher got 77 years in 2014, released on bail in 2017
Mandla Chauke’s bail application pending appeal was successful.
7 hours ago
“You are sentenced to 77 years in prison, 34 of which will run concurrently,” said the magistrate, Ms Sheila Msibi on July 22, 2014.
Her words were directed to convicted poacher Mandla Chauke. Never before had a poacher been sentenced as harshly.
It was a glorious day for justice. Investigating officer WO Willie Broodryk jumped up and pumped his fists into the air and gave senior state advocate Ms Isabet Erwee a high five. They were elated and the victory in the war on poaching was celebrated across South Africa.
Senior state Advocate Ms Isabet Erwee and WO Willie Broodryk secured the record sentence.
On April 23, 2011 Chauke and Mr Samson Msimango were poaching in the Kruger National Park’s Stolsnek area. They encountered rangers, and Msimango was killed in the crossfire. Erwee argued that Chauke should have foreseen the possibility of a person being killed during the poaching.
By continuing with it, he had intentionally caused his accomplice’s death. Msibi accepted this argument.
Chauke feels that Msibi’s conclusion was an unfair one. His application for leave to appeal was not opposed.
Why the state did not appeal his application for leave to appeal
“The state had a strong case. It can be tested and reported and become precedent,” said senior state prosecutor,
Ms Isabet Erwee, last month. “Good cases make good law,” she said.
Poachers often get killed in the field. If the Chauke ruling is tested and upheld in a higher court, it may set precedent.
Erwee opposed Chauke’s bail application. “He is now a convicted criminal. Even if an appeal court imposes a lesser sentence, it is unlikely that it will be a non-custodial one,” she said. She said that he was a flight risk. “Although the state opposes bail, an amount of R100 000 is suggested if the court decides to grant the application,” she said.
Msibi did not consider Chauke a flight risk and imposed bail of R15 000. This was on March 8. The date of his appeal remains to be confirmed.http://lowvelder.co.za/378959/poacher-g ... bail-2017/