Police in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, have arrested four suspects aged between 25-43 for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, Letaba Herald reports.
The suspects were at Klaserie One Stop Shop, outside Hoedspruit, when police intercepted them, suspected to be en route to go hunting for protected species on a farm outside town.
During this arrest, one .308 rifle along with six rounds of live ammunition, were recovered. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, the suspects will soon appear before the Hoedspruit Magistrates’ Court.
Meanwhile, in Lulekani, outside Phalaborwa, six suspects were arrested by the Provincial Endangered Species Unit (PESU) for possession of a protected species. The PESU acted on a tip-off from members of the community, and in turn arrested one woman and five men aged between 29-52 for possession of two pangolins.
The pangolins were recovered alive, locked up in a cage. These suspects will soon appear before the Lulekani Magistrates’ Court.
In Tzaneen, another two suspects were arrested for possession of a pangolin. The arrests took place at Lifestyle Shopping Centre, where two suspects aged 25 and 35 from Hazeview, Mpumalanga were arrested for possession of a pangolin.
These arrests also occurred following a tip-off from members of the community. The suspects will soon appear before the Tzaneen Magistrates’ Court.
In case you were wondering why so many people have been caught in possession of pangolins this year, it’s because it is supposedly believed by some in South Africa that the scales are able to ward off negative energy and evil spirits.
Here is Ngoepe commenting on the matter:
Voice of Limpopo police spokesperson Lt. Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.