After a decade’s long trial, Muntugogkwakhe Khoza was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crime of rhino poaching. However, Khoza’s two accomplices received only suspended sentences and fines (another accomplice jumped bail and remains at large). Poaching of white rhinos is a major problem in South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park. Animal conservationists were pleased that Khoza was found guilty, but disappointed in the length of the trial and the fact that his associates received light punishment. Evidence from the case indicated that the men had hacked the horns off a rhino when it was still alive.
- A prominent rhino poacher who has tried to evade justice with a lengthy court case that spanned ten years is back in prison.
- Although Khoza, who is 50 years old, kept maintaining his innocence right to the end, the judge told him he was lying and wasting the time of the court.
- Two accomplices of Khoza were also arrested but they had lesser punishment are they were asked to pay fines and given suspended jail sentences.
“The white rhino population in South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park has also been cut in half from poaching over the last decade and rhino poaching has also been declared a national priority crime to safeguard the country’s rhino herd from unprecedented rates of illegal slaughter.”