Combined 105-year sentence handed down to three rhino poachers

Shangani Mathebula, Emmanuel Mdhluli and Walter Hendrik Mangane were arrested in 2017 for killing three rhinos in Marula, in the south section of the Kruger National Park.

FILE: Rhinos in the Kruger National Park. Picture: Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Three rhino poachers were sentenced to a combined 105 years in prison on Friday.

Shangani Mathebula, Emmanuel Mdhluli from Mozambique and Walter Hendrik Mangane from South Africa were arrested in 2017 for killing three rhinos in Marula, in the south section of the Kruger National Park.

Park spokesperson Ike Phaahla welcomed the hefty sentence and said it should serve as a deterrent to criminals.

More than 249 rhinos were poached for their horns across South Africa between January and June this year with 40 alleged poachers arrested within the Kruger National Park alone.

Managing executive of the KNP Gareth Coleman said: "These sentences should serve as a deterrent to those intending to come and kill our natural heritage and destroying the livelihoods of our people. We have in the past few months intensified our security efforts in the Park to good effect but successful convictions require that the prosecutorial and justice pillars in our society are operating effectively."

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