Petrus Sydney Mabuza was released on bail of R250 000 at the Nelspruit High Court today. This came after Mabuza appealed the sentence of the White River Magistrates’ Court, who did not grant him bail, Lowvelder reports.
According to Captain Leroy Bruwer from the Hawks, the high court granted Mabuza bail as it decided he was not a flight risk.
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Mabuza was arrested in the beginning of June with three other accused, who were charged on six counts related to rhino poaching.
Nozwelo Mahumane was released on bail earlier in June, while it was placed on record that Moshe Thobela and Romance Khoza withdrawn their bail application.
During the bail application, it was placed on record by the state that Mabuza was indeed a flight risk and that he had the means to commit similar crimes if he was not kept in jail. The defence, however, argued he was well-loved in the community, he suffered from pain due to a previous car accident and that he would not be able to flee or to tamper with the ongoing case against him.
Jamie Joseph from the environmental organisation Save the Wild, who assisted the Hawks in Mabuza’s arrest, said the granting of bail was a slap in the face for them.
“They are celebrating at his home and in the streets of Hazyview tonight. We are deeply upset about the release, and this fight is not over.”