Image by Sokwanele-Zimbabwe
Hefty sentences were given to Gearson Cosa, 35, and Ali Nkuna, 25, by the Nelspruit Magistrate Catherine Hugo, for not only trespassing in a South African safari, but also being in possession of hunting rifles, ammunition, and poaching a rhino and its calf.
The court ordered them both to be imprisoned for 29 years each, while Cosa was given an extra three month extension on his sentence for being in the country illegally. They were both arrested last June for rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park.
The defense argued that the animals were killed for food, out of desperation and need to feed their large families, but Prosecutor Isabet Erwee said poverty was not an excuse for committing this crime.
“If that was the main drive, then surely one would have expected the accused to take pieces of meat with them to their wives and children. They did not do that, so one can only assume their actions were based on greed and were exceptionally cruel.”
The court ruled their crime was a well-planned aim to hunt rhinos for their horns.