Thapelo Lekabe

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Hawks arrest third suspect in rhino horn theft

The horns were taken from a safe in the North West Parks Board offices in Rustenburg.

The Hawks have arrested a third suspect in connection with the theft of 51 rhino horns from the offices of the North West Parks Board last month.

Theft of 51 rhino horns

The suspect, 46, was arrested in Rustenburg on Friday. He is due to appear in the Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of business burglary.

ALSO READ: Shootout and manhunt: Inside brazen attack on Pretoria police building

Two other suspects, Lindani Mthombeni, 32, and Elias Mangande, 40, were arrested last week and are also facing charges of business burglary. They are expected to apply for bail on 21 July.

The theft of the rhino horns, which are worth R9 million, took place on 26 June. The horns were taken from a safe in the North West Parks Board offices in Rustenburg.

Suspects avoided security

According to police, the suspects avoided all security on the premises and took the keys to the safe.

The Hawks said the arrests came after “a thorough investigation”.

The theft of rhino horns is a serious crime that is often linked to poaching. Rhino horns are highly valued in the illegal wildlife trade, and they can fetch high prices on the black market.

The arrest of the three suspects is a positive development in the fight against rhino poaching. It is hoped that the arrests will send a message to those involved in the illegal wildlife trade that they will be brought to justice.

NOW READ: Truck driver attacked and robbed in KwaZulu-Natal

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits