By Gareth Wilson on June 21, 2016
A FIELD guide at a top Garden Route game reserve who is possibly linked to a spate of poachings across South Africa is among three alleged rhino poachers arrested on the outskirts of Grahamstown.
Police top brass and conservationists hailed the arrests at the weekend as a major breakthrough in the fight against the poaching of rhino horn.
The arrests came just months after anti-poaching experts warned that the spike in poaching incidents in the Eastern Cape was likely due to the mass security deployment in the Kruger National Park, which had forced poachers to target other provinces.
Yesterday, the SA National Parks (SANParks) also confirmed the arrest of two field rangers at the Nwanedzi Ranger Section of the Kruger Park on Saturday after the discovery of a carcass with its horns removed.
A total of 18 rhinos have been darted or shot on Eastern Cape reserves since January.
Three that had been darted survived, but the other 15 died.
The three men arrested on the outskirts of Grahamstown on Friday night are suspended Gondwana Game Reserve field ranger Forget Ndlovu, 40, who lives in Pacaltsdorp, George, and Port Elizabeth residents Jabulani Ndlovu, 38, of Cleonie Crescent, Charlo, and Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, 37, of NU9, Motherwell.
The men are not related.
They appeared briefly in the Grahamstown Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the most recent poaching on the Bucklands Private Game Reserve outside the city on Friday night.
The men were arrested at 10pm after booking into a self-catering chalet at the Makana Resort.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said the suspects were allegedly found in possession of R1.2-million worth of rhino horn believed to be from an animal killed only hours earlier.