Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:57 pm

Police obstruct Hawks rhino-poaching case
Two Hawks members were locked up in the cells with the accused.
8 hours ago

Tereasa Diaz

MBOMBELA – Police turned on the Hawks when it tried to charge two fellow officers with rhino poaching. This came to light during their bail application. It ran into its seventh day in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

During his cross-examination by defence attorney, Mr Vusi Sekgodi, Hawks investigating officer Capt Leroy Bruwer said he could not take the fingerprints and officially charged Const Simanga Mnisi and Const Manguni Nyalunga as the SAPS had refused to assist him.

“They refused to take them out of their cell so I could officially charge them,” Bruwer said. He said he and a fellow Hawks member were then locked up in the cells with the accused. “I banged on the walls for ages until someone came to help us,” he said. Sekgodi questioned him on why he had not informed the station commander about the situation. Bruwer replied that he could see it would have become violent so he informed the prosecutor. “We decided to wait to inform the court about the members obstructing my duties,” he said.

In the course of the application, it also came to light that one of the arrested constables had four prior criminal investigations against him for a range of alleged crimes.

In contrast to what the defence had claimed last week, that Mnisi and Nyalunga from Masoyi Police Station were only giving their co-accused a lift when they were apprehended on November 19, the Hawks revealed in court that a hunting rifle with a silencer had been found in the front part of the police vehicle.

The police officers are being charged alongside Messrs Bandile Gamede, Sakile Habile, Alex Mlambo and Syco Ngoma. Defence attorney Mr Sifiso Mabilane said his clients, Nyalunga and Mnisi, were looking for a suspect named “Sifiso” in the Ngodwana area when they picked up their informant Gamede.

Three young men carrying bags approached them for a ride and Nyalunga was told to get into the back of the police vehicle. According to Mabilane, Nyalunga was mortified and shocked when, on the way back to Mbombela, they were pulled over by police and arrested for possession of rhino horns. He said Nyalunga was also appalled about the conditions in prison, especially with the food they had been given. Mnisi said he was denied access to his family while in custody.

Read more here: Two policemen and four others in court for rhino poaching

Bruwer testified that they had received information about a rhino-poaching incident at a Waterval Boven farm, and that an SAPS vehicle would pick up the suspects.
“A double-cab police bakkie arrived, the vehicle stopped next to the specific farm and the driver and passenger exited it,” he said. According to Bruwer, they observed three people approaching the vehicle carrying bags.

“One rifle was placed in the front of the bakkie,” he said. Police also saw them climbing into the rear. “They left the farm travelling at high speed towards Mbombela,” he said. The registration of the vehicle was provided to the flying squad, and the bakkie was stopped by its members near Mbombela Stadium.

Both police officers got out the vehicle and were identified and flying-squad members searched it.
“Behind the rear passenger seat they found a brown hunting rifle as well as a silencer. None were in a police forensic bag, they were placed just as they were behind the seat,” he said. They also found ammunition in the back of the vehicle.

“Two rhino horns were found in the bag. It was not complete horns, just the base of what was left when rhino are dehorned.” He added that an ear and tail were also discovered as well as two large knives. Bruwer said Ngoma said in his statement to police that he had gone hunting for wild pigs. They saw a rhino and shot the animal in the head. He contacted an inyanga, a traditional healer, who asked him to cut off the ears and tail. According to his statement, they asked the driver of the double-cab for a lift.

Bruwer also stated in court that Nyalunga was the only accused with no previous criminal cases against him. Mnisi had previously been investigated for two robberies, a theft and the possession of an illegal firearm. According to Bruwer, the dockets in all four cases had gone missing.
He added that the other accused had pending cases or convictions for various crimes, including a case of trespassing in the Kruger National Park, against their names.

The bail application continues in court today. ... hing-case/

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:03 pm

• SANParks’ regional ranger, Mr Rodney Landela and veterinary sciences employee, Mr Kenneth Motshotsho, will appear in Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court on January 17. The two were arrested on July 27 after rangers in the Kingfisherspruit area heard a gunshot and, upon investigating, came across a poached rhino with both horns removed. Landela and Motshotso were connected to the poaching after bloodied shoes were apparently found in the vehicle Motshotsho was driving. It was reported that a SANParks firearm had been used in the poaching. Both remain in custody.

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:23 pm

Both remain in custody.

Now that's good news 0'

The Hawks as well... I used to have a high opinion of that "institution" - is that wrong? Or are those to mention in the first article on this page just two bad apples withing a shining organisation? -O-

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:26 pm

Most lower level Hawks are working hard, but those in charge have sadly become a laughing stock, fighting for the chief thief now, Mello... :no:

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:34 pm

(0!) for those because once again it is spoilt for those who are trying O/

Thanks for putting it right for me, RP!

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:42 pm

Mel wrote:
Both remain in custody.

Now that's good news 0'

The Hawks as well... I used to have a high opinion of that "institution" - is that wrong? Or are those to mention in the first article on this page just two bad apples withing a shining organisation? -O-

The Gauteng Hawks have arrested two of their own after they allegedly insisted on a R100 000 pay-out to squash a case.
The two, Sergeant Sithembo Moses Dlamini (54) and Captain Saul Thulani Mdletshe, were arrested on Friday after they conspired to pocket R100 000 from a suspect in a Brackendowns fraud case....................
O** 0*\ :evil: O/

Re: SAPS, SANDF & SANParks Employees Involved in Poaching

Wed May 17, 2017 5:52 pm

Speculation that suspected poacher was a former game ranger
2017-05-16 22:40

Simon Bloch, News24 Correspondent

Polokwane - SANParks officials and law enforcement authorities have "remained mum" on speculation that a 48-year-old suspected rhino poacher shot and killed by park rangers at the weekend was a former Kruger National Park (KNP) ranger "gone rogue".
According to SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, the man was allegedly shot and killed on Sunday during a fire-fight with rangers in the Maritenga Block in the northern section of the park, near Punda Maria.

"Initially, after spotting a group of suspected rhino poachers moving through park, rangers confronted the suspects, whereby they were targeted and shot at. The rangers retaliated and a deceased suspect was found mortally wounded.

"Three remaining suspects escaped into the surrounding bushes", Ngoepe said.

Two rifles and ammunition, and bags full of axes, machetes and knives were recovered.

'Ongoing investigations'

Pressed for further details and confirmation that the deceased was a former game ranger, Ngoepe declined to comment further, citing "ongoing investigations" and referred News24 inquiries to KNP officials.

Meanwhile, police in Saselamani outside Giyani, Limpopo, are reported to have launched a search for the three suspects who escaped.

It is believed the group may be linked to the same Giyani-based "Mercedes Benz" poaching syndicate that killed a rhino on a private reserve near the North West border with Botswana, a week ago.

SANParks, the umbrella conservation authority in charge of the KNP, confirmed Sunday's incident, however the body's media specialist, Isaac Phaahla, would not be drawn into speculation the deceased had been identified as a former park employee.

In reply to a written inquiry, Phaahla wrote: "We can't confirm allegations regardless of how strong they are.

"When an incident of this nature occurs, SANParks secures the crime scene and hands over to the SAPS for further investigations. The SAPS should be able to reveal who the person is once they have verified their identity and gone through their internal process. We hope for your understanding," he said.

Corrupted officials

Asked to verify if tracking dogs or the latest Meerkat Surveillance System had been employed to assist the rangers in confronting the suspects, Phaahla said: "This was a routine anti-poaching patrol.

"Our rangers were fired upon by a group of suspected poachers, and unfortunately, one of them was fatally wounded when rangers returned fire. We have eyes all over the KNP, and potential poachers should think twice about venturing into the park for illegal activities."

Sources with first-hand knowledge of smuggling routes point to trans-national rhino horn and ivory syndicates that have been shipping hunting rifles to cross-border and domestic poaching kingpins via Maputo.

Increasingly, evidence continues to surface of enforcement officers and park rangers that have been corrupted by gang bosses and middle-men with offers of financial gain.

In March, five suspected poachers were arrested at the Paul Kruger Gate when they attempted to enter the KNP. The suspects include an SAPS member.

A group of six suspects was also taken into custody at the Phalaborwa gate. The suspects, including a SANParks Environmental Monitor based at Letaba, were found in possession of a firearm, ammunition and poaching equipment, and were apparently on their way into the park when they were apprehended. ... r-20170516