By Lauren Lewis –
October 16, 2018
Photo from Mpumalanga News
Alleged kingpin, Sydney Petrus Mabuza, and five other key members that have been implicated in the massive trafficking of poached rhino horns, remain in custody after appearing in a court in Africa yesterday.
According to Mpumalanga News, the case, which began deliberations on October 8th, was postponed to Friday, October 19th, during which the bail application deliberations will continue at the White River Magistrate’s Court.
WAN previously reported that 54-year-old Mabuza, known in law enforcement and poaching gang circles as “Mr. Big”, was originally arrested in June of this year. He was subsequently released from jail under strict conditions after initially being denied bail.
Mabuza will return to court at the end of this week along with suspected syndicate members, Clyde Lubisi, Cloud Mnisi, “Big Joe” Joseph Nyalungu, Aretha Mhlanga, and Rachel Qwabane; all of whom have made numerous court appearances since they were arrested on September 18th and 19th.
Another suspect, Phineas Lubisi, was previously charged with them, but received bail last Monday.
The defense has concluded its arguments and now the state is continuing its case to oppose bail for Mazuba, a man of “considerable means” that could forfeit the money should he post bail, as well as for the other five suspects.
According to the media outlet, “the team members investigating the alleged poaching syndicate recently exposed that they fear for their lives daily” with Captain Leroy Bruwer testifying yesterday that he had been assaulted by protesters who demanded the release of the accused.
Bruwer also alleged that the prosecutor has been threatened.
Calling rhino poaching an environmental and state security matter, Bruwer further noted that, “It is part of the constitutional responsibility to protect endangered species.”
May they be denied bail permanently; sparing the remaining rhinos from the syndicate’s terror, and us from any more of their smug and smiling photos!
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TAGS:Africa,illegal wildlife trafficking,rhino poaching
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