Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Vredefort: A police official sustained an injury on the leg during a rhino poaching combat that occurred in Vredefort on Tuesday evening; 21 September 2021. The official, aged 34, was rushed to the hospital for medical attention where he is recovering.

Prior to the official’s injury, SAPS members attached to Heilbron Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit and Tactical Response Team (TRT), conducted an observation watch, to follow-up information about suspects planning to poach rhino’s in the Vredefort vicinity.

A motor vehicle fitting the description circulated, was spotted and stopped. The two suspects aged 39 and 37, were arrested after being linked to the poaching conspiracy.

Meanwhile, members from the units were still in the veld in Presidentskop waiting for the poachers. A shootout between the poachers and police ensued. One TRT member was shot in the leg and rushed to hospital for medical attention.

However, the suspects managed to flee the scene leaving behind one 375 hunting rifle, 10 rounds of live ammunition, a silencer and an axe. These items were confiscated by the police.

Two cases, attempted murder and Rhino Poaching under Bioversity Act 10 /2004 Section 57, carrying out restricted activities involving Species Listed as threatened, were registered for further investigation.

The two suspects will be charged for a case of Rhino Poaching and are set to appear before the Vredefort Magistrates’ Court on Thursday; 23 September 2021. There is no one arrested for attempted murder at this stage.

The investigating officers in both cases request community assistance in tracing the suspects.  Detective Warrant Officer Henry Greeff may be contacted on 082 627 7577 for the Rhino poaching case while Detective Warrant Officer Jabulani Kebile can be contacted on 078 322 4471 for the attempted murder case.