Suspected KNP rhino poachers due in court

Five men that were arrested for conspiracy to poach rhino in the KNP are due in court on Thursday.

Five men that were arrested for conspiracy to poach rhino in the KNP are due in court on Thursday. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Five men arrested for conspiracy to poach rhinos in the Kruger National Park (KNP) are set to appear in court on Thursday.

The police spotted the poachers in a vehicle on its way inside the park on Tuesday and recovered a hunting rifle, silencer, a butcher's knife and an axe.

Police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said investigators were trying to determine if the men are part of a syndicate involved in other incidents.

Mulaudzi also said the men would be charged with conspiracy to poach rhinos at the park and that any other charges that the men could face would be determined by further investigation.

Meanwhile, the KNP has increased its own visibility in the areas that have become rhino poaching hot-spots.

RHINO POACHING STILL RIFE

The Department of Environmental Affairs has said other generations will not have rhino to admire if poaching continues at this rate.

In the first rhino poaching incident of 2013, a bull's body was found at the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West, with its horns removed.

The department's spokesperson, Dumisa Seshabela, has said rhino poaching is rife in that province.