Cape Town – The High Court in Polokwane has sentenced a wildlife security guard to 24 years imprisonment after he was convicted for various charges, including murder and rhino poaching.
Bethuel Mdubane, 36, reportedly shot and killed two rhino in March 2020, removed their horns before killing his accomplice, Primar Salazar Maluleque.
According to NPA spokesperson in Limpopo Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, Mdubane tried to blame the poaching on his dead accomplice but was arrested in November last year, reported IOL.
“On 10 March 2020, the accused was on duty when he shot and killed two rhinos and further removed their horns. He then killed Primar Salazar Maluleque, his accomplice, claiming that he is the one who was poaching the rhinos,” the report quoted Malabi-Dzhangi as saying.
She added that the two did not see eye-to-eye in the sharing of the proceeds from the rhino horns.
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“The rhino horns were never recovered and the estimated value for both horns is R1 million. On 19 November 2022, when the police officers were arresting the accused in his homestead, they found a 303 rifle, a bag containing a silencer, an axe, a knife, and five rounds of 303 live ammunition,” Malabi-Dzhangi was quoted saying.
Tzaneen Voice reported that Mdubane pleaded not guilty to the charges, however, state Advocate Trott Mphahlele argued that the accused be found guilty of serious offences, adding he did not show any element of remorse.
The second accused, Ebony Mokoena was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment or a fine of R3 000, for malicious property damage, while accused number three turned into a state witness, the report said.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe