The South African Police Service made a major breakthrough in curbing Rhino Poaching when they arrested three (3) suspects on Friday night, 17 June 2016 at about 22:00 at chalet 8, Makana Resort, Grahamstown. The arrest is the direct result of Operation Full Moon, which mainly focused on curbing rhino poaching incidents in the Province.
The three (3) suspects, two (2) Zimbabwe nationals and one (1) South African appeared briefly in the Grahamstown Magistrates Court today, 20 June 2016. They have been remanded in custody and will appear again on 22 June 2016 for formal bail application.
The suspects are Forget Ndlovu (40) residing in Pacaltsdorp, George, Jabulani Ndlovu, 38 residing at Cleonie Crescent, Port Elizabeth and Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, 37 residing at NU 9, Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. Forget and Jabulani are not related and are Zimbabwean citizens. Sikhumbuzo is a South African Citizen.
The following items were recovered during the arrest;
- One (1) 72 cm rhino horn which had been freshly harvested, estimated at approximately R1.2 million;
- One (1) darting rifle;
- Saws and knives;
- Drugs used to dart animals;
- Various darts and percussion caps;
- A variety of camping gear and rations;
- Several cellphones;
- Two (2) rental vehicles rented by the suspects were seized.
The suspects have been identified as the group linked to the recent poaching of a rhino at Buckland’s Private Game Reserve. The rhino was last seen alive on 17 June 2016 at about 09:30. It is suspected that the rhino was darted. The suspects could possibly be linked to 10 rhino poaching incidents in the Eastern Cape as well as Mpumalanga and KwaZuluNatal.
Acting Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Major General Zamuthango Mki thanked all the members and officials deployed at the operation. “Operation Full Moon is aimed at curbing Rhino Poaching activities in a structured and co-ordinated manner. This is a major breakthrough for the police in the Province. The arrests must send a message that SAPS members in the rural areas are as vigilant”, concluded Major General Mki.