The Skukuza Regional Court has today convicted and sentenced three Mozambican nationals to various sentences after they were found guilty of poaching-related offences.

Lawrence Makamu (28), George Miyanga (48) Nulo Burro (31), were convicted of trespassing, contravention of the Immigration Act, possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit illegal poaching, killing of a black rhino, two counts of the killing of a white, possession of ammunition and possession of two hunting knives.

On 30 June 2022, the trio illegally entered Skukuza National Park using the Malelane Section and killed a black rhino. They did not exit the Park until 01 July 2022, when rangers heard gunshots around the Malelane Section and started searching for the suspects using a helicopter. They found another two white rhinos killed, and continued with the search and found Makamu, Miyanga and Burro hiding in possession of six fresh rhino horns, firearms, two hunting knives and four live rounds. They were arrested hence their conviction.

In court, the trio pleaded guilty and State Prosecutor Lot Mgiba led evidence of DNA-positive results linking the suspects to the carcasses of a black rhino that was killed on 30 June 2022. A ballistic report confirming that the rhino horns that were found in their possession were of the two white rhinos, was presented as well as evidence of rhino horns that were found in their possession. In aggravation of the sentence, the court took into consideration that the suspects did not kill only a white rhino, they also killed a black rhino which is regarded as a critically endangered species. 

During the sentence, the court considered that George Muyanga had a previous conviction of illegal poaching and was sentenced to effective 33 years imprisonment while Makamu and Burro, were sentenced to 22 years direct imprisonment.

The NPA acknowledges the collaboration displayed by the investigating officer and the prosecutor. Poaching has a negative threat to the economy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *