The South African National Parks (SANParks) has welcomed the hefty sentence imposed to a 40-year-old man for rhino poaching.
This after the Skukuza Regional Court in Mpumalanga sentenced Sydney Sibuyi to thirty years imprisonment for rhino poaching.
He pleaded guilty to killing three rhinos, conspiracy to commit an offence and trespassing in the Kruger National Park.
Rangers found Sibuyi in possession of rhino horns in 2020, his two accomplices managed to evade arrest and are still at large.
SANParks Spokesperson, Ike Phaahla says, “The collaboration with the law enforcement officials and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) indicates what can be achieved if all pull in the same direction. We thank the court for realising the seriousness of the crime and imposing this sentence. We warn those planning to commit crime in the Kruger National Park – that we have eyes and ears everywhere. Once you are dedicated you, can’t escape, (you) will be arrested and jailed to a long sentence.”
In a statement, the NPA says they are also pleased with the sentence, as Mpumalanga Spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa elaborates.
“On 12 July 2020, rangers of Skukuza National Park got information about three suspected poachers. They followed the lead and found Sibuyi in possession of five fresh rhino horns. ”
“They continued the search and found three rhino carcasses in the vicinity. This led to Sibuyi’s arrest and when observing him it transpired that the T- shirt he was wearing had blood stains which was taken for DNA analysis. In court, the accused pleaded guilty to all counts.”
The NPA is pleased with the sentence. Rhino poaching endangers not only the population of targeted animals but also other animals in their ecosystem,” adds Nyuswa.
Rhino poaching still a major concern
South Africa and other parts of the African continent are still facing the challenge of rhino poaching, with the problem having persisted for many years.
As the world observed World Rhino Day on the 22nd of September, the Endangered Wildlife Trust believes there a need to continue to remind people about the dangers that Rhinos as endangered creatures continue to face and their desperate fight for survival.
Rhinos are poached for their horn, which is then sold in Asia to be used for a variety of reasons, including perceived aphrodisiac qualities.
According to the International Rhino Foundation, the estimated total global population of rhinos is now fewer than 27 000.