ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADER SENTENCED
Phokeng/ Rustenburg – The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) laid charges against an illegal wildlife trader for the sale of indigenous wild animals that had been poached from the wild.
The accused pleaded guilty and was sentenced before the Bafokeng Regional Court on Thursday, 27 September 2018.
In January 2018, NSPCA wildlife inspectors were travelling towards Sun City in Phokeng, where they were approached by an illegal wildlife trader who accosted the inspectors and attempted to sell a chameleon and a tortoise to them.
The inspectors immediately laid charges against the trader and supplied evidence to support their case.
The court case was initially heard before the Bafokeng District Court, but due to the seriousness of the crime, the case had been moved to the Bafokeng Regional Court. The accused, Phemelo Kwele, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment or a R6,000 fine which has been suspended for five years.
Members of the public can assist the NSPCA in putting a stop to these crimes by taking as much detail of the perpetrators as possible and if it is safe to do so, take photographs or videos, and report this to the NSPCA or your local SPCA.
“We implore the public not to purchase these animals, even if your intentions are good. The sale of these animals only fuels the trade – if there is no demand then there is no need for the supply,” said national inspector Irinka Schroder of the NSPCA wildlife protection unit.
NSPCA press release
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