Seven men to appear in Mpumalanga court over illegal hunting

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Seven men arrested for illegal hunting in Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga are expected to appear before the Pilgrim’s Rest Periodical Court today.

The seven were found in possession of more than 20 killed antelopes, loaded on to a delivery vehicle.

Security officers arrested the suspects and alerted the local police, who took them into custody.

The suspects were spotted with technological devices in the plantation.

Two hunting rifles, bush knives,  ammunition, and cellphones were also confiscated during the arrest.

The suspects, aged between 17 and 42, are expected to appear in court facing charges of poaching.

It is suspected that the meat was going to be supplied to illegal miners operating in and around the Pilgrim’s Rest area.

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) acting CEO, Mduduzi Vilakazi says the game meat has been stored in a cool room for the purpose of evidence in court.

“We want to see more of the convictions. [In] most instances they are being brought before traditional councils or they are brought before a magistrate’s court without a particular evidence. This time we have taken the game meat to Ohrigstad Nature Reserves.”

“We have put it in a cool room for it to be kept as evidence, we [are] very convinced that the criminals deserve harsh sentences,” adds Vilakazi.