Two Brothers Get Lengthy Jail Terms For Poaching Rhino In Limpopo… Brothers Nicolaas and Gideon van Deventer, aged 56 and 53, were on Thursday sentenced to prison terms of 15 years and 10 years respectively after pleading guilty to a number of charges related to poaching.
The Giyani magistrate’s court handed down the sentences on Thursday after the brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hunt rhinos, illegal hunting, killing and dehorning a rhino bull, possession of rhino horns, selling rhino horns, trespassing and possession of a loaded firearm.
The accused were arrested on January 6 2017 for the offences committed between December 2016 and January 2017.
On the day of their arrest, they were seen tossing a rhino horn from the window of their speeding bakkie while being pursued by police along the Vivo and Makhado road in Limpopo, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi said.
The accused were in custody for five years waiting for their trial to be finalised.
During proceedings in aggravation of sentence, prosecutor Norman Makuvele called Mario Scholtz of SANParks, who testified that syndicates are hunting and smuggling rhino horns and the accused are hunters and dealers.
SANParks is the body responsible for managing SA’s national parks
Scholtz further presented statistics about a declining rhino population due to poaching.
Makuvele told the court that the two men first made the headlines in KwaZulu-Natal 10 years ago when they were caught poaching rhinos in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park and again for possession of rhino horns in the Bela Bela area in Limpopo.
Several adult rhinos and calves were shot indiscriminately and left to die.