After gunshots were heard on the farm, law enforcement officials found a high-calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, two rhino horns and other hunting equipment in a Toyota bakkie.
A 43-YEAR-old suspect is set to appear before the Nkowankowa Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of rhino poaching, possession of rhino horns and illegal possession of a firearm.
“Effective partnership policing and the alert actions of the endangered species unit, with assistance from Farm Watch members, led to the arrest of one of the suspected rhino poachers in the Gravelotte area outside Phalaborwa on Friday, July 8, 2022, at about 5am,” said Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
“The suspect was arrested through a joint operation soon after information was received about the gunshots on the farm. The motor vehicle, a Toyota double cab fitting the description given, was spotted on Eiland Road near Letsitele and the suspects were pulled over.”
One suspect was arrested and two escaped.
During a search, police recovered a high-calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, two rhino horns and other hunting equipment.
“An investigation was conducted back on the farm and one rhino was found shot and the carcass had both horns removed. The other wounded rhino was discovered later (but) the suspects had failed to remove the horns,” Mojapelo said.
The provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, has lauded members of Farm Watch “for being vigilant and working closely with the police to ensure the speedy arrest of the suspect”.
“Being our ears and eyes is very crucial in the fight against crime and it is very important for anyone who notices criminal activity to report it immediately to the police,” Hadebe said.
Community members have been urged to assist with information that can lead to the arrest of the outstanding suspects who evaded arrest.
“They may contact Captain Peter Meyer on 082 319 9460 or the Crime Stop number 08600 10111, the nearest police station or MySAPS app,” the police said.