rhino poacher caught
The Kruger National Park is home to many wildlife, however the rhinos are under constant threat of poaching. Police recently made arrests of two field rangers and two poachers. Photo: Pixabay Nel_Botha-NZ

Home » FEEL GOOD: Poacher sentenced to 30 years behind bars

FEEL GOOD: Poacher sentenced to 30 years behind bars

The Skukuza Regional Court has sentenced a convicted poacher to an effective 30-year prison term. Happy days!

06-10-23 13:15
rhino poacher caught
The Kruger National Park is home to many wildlife, however the rhinos are under constant threat of poaching. Police recently made arrests of two field rangers and two poachers. Photo: Pixabay Nel_Botha-NZ

The Skukuza Regional Court has sentenced a convicted poacher to an effective 30-year prison term. 

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Sidney Sibuyi was part of a three-man, armed poaching gang that entered the Stolznek Section of the Kruger National Park illegally on 26 September 2020 to hunt rhino.

After shots were heard, field rangers reacted and gave chase.

Sibuyi was arrested, but his two accomplices managed to evade arrest and are still at large.

A bag containing five fresh rhino horns and one heavy calibre rifle silencer were recovered close to the convicted poacher.

However, the rifle itself and other poaching equipment was not found on him, indicating the escapees had those in their possession.

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The accused appeared in court on 26 September 2023 and indicated that he wished to plead guilty to the following charges:

1. Trespassing in a National Park

2. Hunting of rhinoceros

3. Hunting of rhinoceros

4. Hunting of rhinoceros

5. Conspiracy to commit a crime.

The court sentenced him as follows:

•  Count 1: 2 years imprisonment

•  Count 2, 3 and 4: 10 years imprisonment each

•  Count 5: 4 years imprisonment

The court ordered the sentences in counts 1 and 5 to run concurrently with the sentence in count 4.

Sibuyi will as a result, serve an effective 30 years in prison.

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The Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park, Oscar Mthimkhulu congratulated the prosecution, the Ranger Corps, investigators, and the SAPS, saying “we are happy at this heavy sentence imposed by the court and hope it will send a strong message that wildlife crime is a serious matter and has lifelong consequences for those who are caught. Our mandate is to conserve and preserve these magnificent creatures for future generations and for people to mercilessly slaughter three at a go, indicates how callous these criminals are and they deserve these heavy sentences. Our enhanced security measures, dedicated rangers and police will ensure that people pay the price when they get caught inside Kruger National Park”.

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