Two Kruger National Park Field Rangers Sentenced
NELSPRUIT – The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the sentencing of two Field Rangers after being caught with unlicensed and prohibited firearm with ammunition as well as a dangerous weapon at the camp site inside the Kruger National Park. Hendric Eccelence Silinda (31) and Achieve Musa Mlambo (38) were both sentenced on Tuesday, 06 December 2022 by the Skukuza Regional Court after being arrested in February 2019.
The court heard how Silinda and Mlambo who were employed as Rangers at the Kruger National Park became involved in some dodgy dealing. Information surfaced that there were certain field rangers at Skukuza Section who were in possession of unlicensed firearm. Further details indicated that the firearm was hidden somewhere at their camping site. SANPARKS then organized a sting operation which was carried out at the camping site. A search was then conducted whereby a large calibre firearm, some ammunition as well as back packs and a knife were recovered. The two accused were then apprehended after being identified as the suspects. Police at Skukuza were called and upon arrival the two men were arrested and charged accordingly.
The trial began in court then yesterday (Wednesday, 06 December 2022) the two accused were convicted as well as sentenced as follows:
On count (1) for possession of unlicensed firearm, both accused were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. On count (2) for possession of prohibited firearm, both accused persons were sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. On count (3) for possession of unlicensed ammunition, the two accused were sentenced to 2 years imprisonment meanwhile on count (4) for possession of a dangerous weapon, both accused were sentenced to one year imprisonment. The court further ordered that the sentence in count 1 and 3 run concurrently with the sentence in count 2. The effective sentence of 7 years imprisonment was imposed upon the two suspects. Both accused were also declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela further appreciated the collaboration displayed by SANPARKS, the SAPS investigators, the Prosecution team as well as the Judiciary which resulted in the sentencing of the two accused. “This sentence should send a clear message to those who might think of carrying out criminal activities whilst working as one of the law enforcement agencies. The time to do that is over and perpetrators will soon be exposed like the two rangers” warned the General.