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Alleged rhino kingpin’s defence disputes charges against the accused

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The defence attorney in the case against a former police officer accused of being a rhino poaching kingpin has disputed that their client has 12 pending cases.

The accused poaching kingpin, Joseph Nyalungu, known as Big Joe, is applying for bail in the Naphuno Magistrate’s Court outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.

Nyalungu is facing numerous charges, including rhino poaching and racketeering amongst others. The matter has been moved from Hoedspruit to Tzaneen for security reasons.

The defence lawyer has told the court that the investigating officer is creating an impression that his client is a repeat offender.

During the bail hearing, the defence lawyer has said that the investigating officer has failed to do his work properly.

The lawyer, Hally Mabuza, has argued that the state does not have enough evidence against his client and that he should be granted bail.

Earlier, the state led evidence that the international community has submitted a petition against the release of the accused.

However, Mabuza has also argued that the investigating officer is misleading the court that the accused is a repeat offender by saying that he was previously arrested for the same offences.

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