Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:37 pm

Lowvelder: Alleged horn thief apparently transported horns to Mozambique

The accused was a taxi owner who did business in Mozambique holding permits to travel as far as Gaza, Masinga and Maputo
Tereasa Ferrari | 17 June 2014 16:20

MBOMBELA – The rhino horns taken from the safe of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) were apparently taken through the Lebombo Border Post to Mozambique.
This is according to state prosecutor Ms Ansie Venter who argued in the bail application of Mr Leonard Sizwe Malatjie (31) and Mr Ali Gideon Mtshali (51) in the local District Court earlier today. They are being charged with housebreaking and theft after the incident at the MTPA on April 20. A total of 112 rhino horns worth millions of rand were stolen.
Mtshali testified that he had two wives and one of them was a police official. Venter stated during cross-examination that his wife had warned another suspect, Mr Shadrick Sikonde, that he had been apprehended and that police were looking for him. She accused him of having inside information into police activities because of his spouse.
Mtshali stated that upon his arrest at his home in KaNyamazane, the SAPS had taken him to a building in Mbombela where they assaulted and threatened him if he didn’t sign an affidavit. He said the police had also never read him his rights upon his arrest. He added that he had previous convictions from 1988 for attempted murder, theft of a motor vehicle and reckless and negligent driving.
According to Mtshali, he was a taxi owner who did business in Mozambique holding permits to travel as far as Gaza, Masinga and Maputo. He claimed at the time of the incident he had been in Mozambique and only arrived back in South Africa the following day. His defence handed in a copy of his passport. Mtshali told the court he intended to plead not guilty to the charges.
Venter said the state didn’t dispute him not being at the crime scene, but that Malatjie had convinced him to transport the horns to the neighbouring country and the passport had validated Mtshali’s statement to police.
“Why would police, if they had assaulted you and made up this whole statement, not put you at the scene of the crime? Why would it validate what your passport states that you only came back to South Africa after your co-accused phoned you about the horns? The police had CCTV footage of you and two other men at the toll gates and at Lebombo Border Post,” said Venter.
The hearing stood down and would continue on Thursday and Friday due to court time constraints.

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:50 pm

Sounds about right! 0*\

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:14 pm

The saga continues!

Malatjie now claims he is a police informant, asked by Don English amongst others to use a tracking device if he saw poachers entering near his home in the Luphisi area of the Park border...R130 000 was recovered by police in Malatjie's sister's pit toilet...which he was quizzed about...blah blah... :O^ 0-

Will wait for the full article to come up! Still one of the fastest rhino court cases in history!

In an unrelated matter, the entire Mpumalanga Parks Board Board was DISBANDED along with MEGA on Saturday...due to "failure to focus on delivery of their mandates" and "appointing individuals with political motives"... :shock: O-/

So Mrs Phosa did not take any nonsense, applications are welcome, etc...

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:23 pm ... s-20140622

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:33 pm

MTPA rhino theft suspect an informer, court hears
2014-06-22 22:20

Mbombela - The Nelspruit Regional Court has heard that one of the men implicated in the theft of 112 pieces of rhino horn from a strong room at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) was a police informer who knew where horns were being sold in Mozambique.

Sizwe Leonard Malatjie (34) pleaded not guilty to charges of housebreaking and theft during his bail application in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

He appeared alongside his co-accused, Gideon Mtshali (51), who has also pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

State prosecutor Ansie Venter told Malatjie that he used his knowledge of rhino horn trading areas in Mozambique to sell the horns in Magudu Kanyini in Mozambique.

This came after Venter asked Malatjie why, in his evidence, he left out the fact that he was in possession of tracking devices during his arrest.

"You took almost two hours on Thursday telling this court about everything you suffered during your arrest. Why didn't you tell the court about the tracking devices which were found in your possession. Can you please tell the court about them?" said Venter.

Malatjie told the court that he was asked by a man named Jasper to collect the device and use it if he spots rhino poachers entering the Kruger National Park near Luphisi.

"I was called by Jasper to collect the device from his car in White River. Inside the car I found a man wearing a ranger uniform," said Malatjie.

He said Jasper and three other people called Don English, Selby Khoza and De Beer asked him to help them by informing them when he sees rhino poachers entering the Kruger.

When asked how he knew the men would be rhino poachers Malatjie said he was an informer.

"By that am I correct to say you were a police informer," said Venter.

"Yes," said Malatjie.

"So I put it to you that with the knowledge you had as an informer and your connection in Mozambique and accused number one as an interpreter for you, you went to Mozambique in Magudu to sell the horns stolen from the MTPA in Mataffin," said Venter.

Venter further asked Malatjie to explain an amount of R130 000 found hidden at his sister's premises next to a pit toilet.

Malatjie claimed they were his legal savings dating back to 2011.

"Yes, I went to the MTPA offices in Mataffin with the police officer and after that we went to dig up the money in my sister's yard, which has been my saving place," said Malatjie.

"Why not keep the money in the bank?" asked Venter.

Malatjie told the court that he has a bank account but buried the money to prevent others from gaining access to it.

"Two weeks before I was arrested criminals came to my house and demanded money; so I didn't want people to know I have money. I then went to bury that money near the pit toilet," Malatjie said.

Malatjie was arrested on 7 June while Mtshali was arrested on 6 June.

Magistrate Christa du Plessis postponed the bail application to 2 July.

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:35 pm

Imagine being able to save R130 000 in 3-4 years!

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:58 pm

Suspected rhino horn thief says more informants
2014-07-20 15:13

Mbombela - One of the four men accused of stealing 112 pieces of rhino horn from a strongroom at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) testified that, like him, one of his co-accused is also a police informer.

Leonard Sizwe Malatjie, 34, who was arrested on 7 June and has pleaded not guilty to housebreaking and theft, testified in Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Friday that Selby George Khoza, 39, told him in 2011 that he was a police informer.

He said they were meeting with police officers about wanted suspects at the time.
Malatjie, Khoza, and the two other accused, Gideon Mtshali, 51, and Velly William Zwane, 43, were all appearing for their bail application on Friday.

Responding to questions from Khoza's defence lawyer, Malatjie said Khoza had not been involved in any crimes.

He said he only mentioned to Khoza's name to the police because the police assaulted him.
State prosecutor Ansie Venter said Malatjie had said in his statement that it was Khoza who told him what the safe looked like at the MTPA's offices.

Malatjie denied discussing the safe with Khoza.

The case was then postponed to allow the state to supply the defence with their clients' case dockets.

Earlier in the day, Magistrate Christa du Plessis rejected an application by Mtshali's defence lawyer, Sifiso Mabilane, and Malatjie’s defence lawyer, Enos Mazibuko, for their clients' bail applications to be held separately.
- African Eye

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:34 pm

Accused claims he bust police buying rhino horns

Police informant gave a shocking testimony about how he had bust a police captain and his current investigating officer, buying a rhino horn.

25 July 2014 17:48

MBOMBELA – Police informant gave a shocking testimony about how he had bust a police captain and his current investigating officer, buying a rhino horn. This unfolded when police informant Mr Selby Khoza (39) testified in his bail application in the Nelspruit regional court on Friday.

Khoza, Mr Sizwe Leonard Malatjie (34), Mr Gideon Mtshali (51) and Mr Veli Williams Zwane (43) are accused of the theft of 112 rhino horns out of the offices of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) in April.

Defence Adv Mr Pieter Naude questioned Khoza about an operation he had taken part of with police in 2011.

‘We were supposed to arrest a man from Maputo who was selling rhino horn, ‘said Khoza.

When Naude asked Khoza who had been with him, he said Const Duduzi Mothubadse (who is the current investigating officer in MTPA case).

Khoza said the two in charge of the operation were Capt Manie van Zyl and Piet Zeeman, although he couldn’t remember his rank.

‘We went to Nkomazi and upon our arrival, the person who wanted to sell the horn phoned me, we then made arrangements to meet behind a complex. We met him there and he opened the bag and showed us the horn.’

According to Khoza, he then stalled the man for time by telling him he was waiting for money. ‘He told me its fine, I must just call him again. That is when Mothubadse said I must wait as he said his colleague has money and we can sell it for ourselves.’

Khoza said Mothubadse then phoned a captain Xabase who confirmed the deal.

‘I called Jasper Atkinson my handler and informed him of this plan, he informed Capt van Zyl who said I must agree to do what the policeman is telling me to do.’

‘The following day, we arranged the Maputo man and the Capt Xabase have a sale of R30000 for the horn. The deal went through and I then called Jasper and van Zyl and gave them the captains registration number and make of vehicle.’

Khoza said the captain was arrested but afterwards Mothubadse had phoned him asking him if he had informed the police. ‘I told him I knew nothing. The investigation is still ongoing.’

Naude asked him what kind of relationship did he have with the investigating officer now, he replied ‘We do not have a good relationship.’

Khoza also claimed he had also being instructed to find out information about Mtshali (also a police informant), as after the horns were stolen from the office, he had heard his house had been burgled and he had been assaulted by suspects looking for the rhino horns.

‘I had told Mtshali previously in a conversation that I had never seen so many tusks and horns as I did that day in the safe.’

Khoza said he failed to get information from Mtshali but had told Jasper he believed he was part of the theft as his answers to his questions had been vague.

Bail hearing was postponed until August 1. ... ino-horns/

Re: Rhino horns stolen from MTPA

Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:36 pm

One would take this with a pinch of salt... O**

SA Rhino Horn Stockpiles DEA and Others

Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:37 pm


This from the parliamentary subcommittee: ... al-affairs

Reply received: July 2014




Ms T Stander (DA) to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs:

(1) Whether her Department currently have stockpiles of rhino horn under its control; if so, (a) what measures are implemented to safeguard these stockpiles and (b) who is responsible for the safeguarding of the said stockpiles;

(2) whether South Africa was represented at the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, held on 12 and 13 February 2014; if not, why not; if so, who attended this conference;

(3) how many kilograms of rhino horn (a) did her Department have under its control in the
(i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13 and (iii) 2013-14 financial years, (b) are currently held by her Department and (c) have been (i) lost, (ii) misplaced and (ii) stolen over the specified financial years?


(1) Yes, the National Department of Environmental Affairs has a stockpile of rhino horn under its control.

(a) The stockpile is secured in appropriate safes, with the necessary control measures in place.

(b) Specific Departmental officials have been appointed to ensure that the stockpiles are safeguarded.

(2) South Africa was represented by officials from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

(3) (a) (i) 2011-12: 1517.2 kg

(ii) 2012-13: 1560.2 kg

(iii) 2013-14: 1560.2 kg

(b) 1560.9 kg

(c) (i) None.

(ii) None.

(iii) None.