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High-profile rhino poaching trial winds down

Publish date: 13 March 2019
Issue Number: 4657
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Category: Criminal

Three men accused of poaching 13 Eastern Cape rhinos in one of the biggest poaching trials to date will know their fate by the end of the week. The Herald reports that judge Jeremy Pickering undertook to give judgment on Friday in the case of Jabulani Ndlovu, Forget Ndlovu, and Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu. The men are not related. At the core of the state’s case is the evidence seized in a raid of the suspec’s chalet at the Makana holiday resort in Makhanda in June 2016. They were allegedly caught red-handed with a 10.27kg freshly harvested rhino horn valued at R1m, a bloody saw, a dart gun and tranquilliser darts, cellphones and SIM cards. DNA evidence has linked both the blood on the saw and the horn to a white rhino named Campbell which had been poached the day before from nearby Bucklands game reserve. They are charged in relation to the Bucklands incident, the killing of two rhinos at a game farm in Jansenville, four rhinos in the Graaff-Reinet area, five from the Cradock area and one from the Great Fish River. The Ndlovus’ counsel, advocate Terry Price SC, took a second stab at persuading Pickering he should not admit into evidence the items seized during the raid. Pickering ruled in 2018 that the evidence was admissible even though police had acted unlawfully in searching without a warrant.

Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)