RSSC man arrested for poaching Ligwalagwala
SITEKI - A Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) employee has been arrested by game rangers for allegedly poaching at the Hlane Royal Game Park.
Bhekinkhosi Makhathini works in the irrigation department of the Simunye Sugar Estate.
Makhathini was nabbed by game rangers on Saturday night while allegedly in possession of 17 wire snares as well as the head and feathers of a purple-crested Lourie (Ligwalagwala).
These feathers are only worn by members of the royal family and have become a national symbol during cultural events.
It is alleged that Makhathini was on his way out of the game park when game rangers spotted him and ordered him to stop.
He was searched and the feathers and head of the bird were allegedly found in his possession.
He appeared before Lubombo Senior Magistrate Donald Mavuso yesterday, and he elected to conduct his own defence.
He was charged with killing a protected wild animal without a licence or permit and further charged with trespassing.
He pleaded guilty to both cou- nts.
Magistrate Mavuso stated that he was forced by law to postpone the matter since the first count has a mandatory minimum sentence of E4 000, which means the prosecution has to lead evidence that will prove the offence was committed.
Makhathini applied for bail and his application was not opposed.
He was granted E1 000 bail and further warned to appear at the Simunye Magistrates Court tomorrow for the continuation of the matter.
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