Alleged poacher becomes prey
MBOMBELA - A fresh skull, that was found in the Kruger National Park (KNP), is believed to be that of an alleged poacher which was killed by an elephant whilst out poaching with other gang members.
The police received information about suspected poaching activity in the KNP on April 1, 2019. It was alleged that one of the poachers were trampled by an elephant. His accomplices apparently carried his body to the road to be discovered by passers-by in the morning, before fleeing the scene.
Once outside the park, they reportedly informed a relative of the deceased about the incident, who, in turn, alerted police. During the joint search operation by police and park rangers that followed, a human skull and pieces of clothing were found.
Police then engaged in a joint intelligence-driven operation in search of the dead poacher's accomplices, which resulted in the arrest of three men, aged 26 to 35, within the KaMhlushwa and Komatipoort precincts. Two .375 hunting rifles and ammunition were also seized.
The suspects appeared in the Komatipoort Magistrate's Court on April 5 on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition without a licence, conspiracy to poach as well as trespassing.
They were remanded in custody and will reappear in the same court on April 12, pending their bail application. An investigation into the circumstances of the man’s death has been launched.
Editor: Anchen Coetzee
Subeditor: Lynette Brink
Submitted by: Col Mtsholi Bhembe