Rhino poaching accused granted bail at Outjo

The Outjo Magistrate's Court on Friday granted bail to a 32-year-old man linked to the alleged December 2018 poaching of the white and black rhinos on a private game farm in the Outjo District.

The bail applicant, George Nanyeni together with his co-accused businessman PetrusShihepoShimuningeni, 35, PenteconstaRuhuzu, 25, NghinomenwaHangula, 26, and 27-year-old DimbulukeniTileinge were all arrested in February this year at different places in the country.

The five accused allegedly had in December last year poached a female white rhino valued at more than N.dollars 500 000, and an adult male black rhino valued at N.dollars 800 000 on a private game farm near the Etosha National Park.

Magistrate Immanuel Udjombala on Friday passed a ruling in favour of Nanyeni's bail application in the amount of N.dollars 18 000 with conditions attached that he reports to the Ondangwa Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays a week.

Udjombala also ruled that Nanyeni should not travel outside the Oshana Region without the authorisation of the police, for him to surrender his passport and not to apply for any travelling documents until his case is finalised.

The magistrate said Nanyeni's photo also should be circulated together with his description to all border posts in the country so that he can be intercepted in case he attempt to exit the country secretly.

Nenyeni through his privately hired lawyer, Samson Enkali agreed to the conditions.

During bail hearing last Wednesday and Thursday, Enkali told court that Nanyeni is innocent and knows nothing about the rhino poaching he was accused of by the State.

He also has a family obligation as a breadwinner to support his two young siblings and a village house under his care situated in the northern part of Namibia, Enkali told court.

Public prosecutor who represented the State, Johannes Kalipi had strongly objected to the granting of bail citing enough evidence pointing to Nanyeni as a key syndicate member in the alleged poaching of rhinos in the country.

Kalipi said if Nanyeni gets bail, it is allegedly likely for him to commit the same crime again as there are already three similar pending cases where the accused is linked.

Kalipi said the two poached rhinos' carcasses were found on the farm at a time when they were about to decompose and their horns were removed.

A hunting rifle, 17 live bullets and N.dollars 7 000 suspected to have been proceeds of the crime, according to Kalipi were also found during the police investigations of this case and were confiscated.

The four other accused in this case - Shimuningeni, Ruhuzu, Hangula and Tileinge are remanded in police custody at Outjo.

Source: Namibia Press Agency