Two poachers shot and killed

TWO suspected poachers died and their two accomplices were arrested at Phinda Game Reserve near Jozini on Wednesday after a heavy gunfire exchange with members of the SAPS anti-poaching unit.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the incident happened at around 6:15pm after a group of suspected poachers were approached by members of the special task force, the Durban Organised Crime Unit and the Nyathi anti-poaching unit inside the game reserve.

“When our members approached them, a shoot-out ensued resulting in two suspects being fatally wounded. Two other suspects aged 40 and 42 were later arrested,” said Captain Zwane.

An unlicensed firearm, axe and knife believed to be used in poaching were found from the deceased suspects.

Zwane said the recovered firearm will be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain if it has been used to commit other crimes.

Charges of poaching, possession of unlicensed firearm and inquest were opened by Jozini SAPS. The two suspects will appear in the Ubombo Magistrates’ Court soon.

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni congratulated the team of the successes achieved.

“It is very important that we deal with these crimes by conducting such multidisciplinary operations as police alone cannot win this battle. We continue to hold such operations in future to dismantle syndicates that trade in our endangered species,” said Ngobeni.

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