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Convicted rhino poachers sentenced

Lead SA and its RAGE (Rhino Action Group) committee would like to congratulate all the authorities involved in the recent successful arrest, prosecution and sentencing of three rhino poachers. The three Mozambicans were sentenced to 25 years each by the Phalaborwa Regional Court after being found guilty of illegal rhino hunting in the Kruger National Park in July 2010.

Aselmo Baloyi, Jawaki Nkuna and Ismael Baloy were also found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm (automatic rifle), possession of a firearm (hunting rifle) and possession of ammunition. They were caught with two freshly severed horns, an assault rifle, a hunting rifle and an axe.

Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee praised all involved saying “it is high time we saw serious sentences for a crime which is depriving all South Africans of our natural heritage”.

RAGE’s chairperson Sam Ferreira commented that RAGE is delighted by the sentences given. He adds that a large part of rhino poaching is driven by incentives through the price that rhino horn fetches and such heavy jail sentences serve as a strong deterrent to poachers.

“We applaud the National Prosecuting Agency for taking a strong stance with regards to rhino poaching. The reality is that convictions are dependent on information and RAGE support the training of undercover operatives. These arrests are thus particularly welcome, even though they are not explicitly linked to information obtained through funding provided by RAGE. Awareness and provision of information remains one of the key contributions that the general public can make.”

Supporting investigators and anti-poaching activities through donations is another way to help address the ongoing rhino war. RAGE encourages people to change their anger into action by supporting RAGE and other credible organisations concerned with the plight of rhinos in South Africa. The public can find information about RAGE and other organisations at www.rhinoactiongroup.org
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