‘Construction workers’ arrested in Kruger National Park

The bus that had been confiscated.

SKUKUZA – Two men, who posed as job applicants in the Kruger National Park (KNP), were arrested on suspicion of rhino-poaching activities on Wednesday.

According to a reliable source, the two men and one accomplice gained entrance to the park on the premise that they were seeking employment with the company that coordinates the construction of Skukuza Conference Lodge.* “They were granted access after they had provided KNP officials with their identity documents,” said the source. “It has since been discovered that these IDs may have been fake,” he added.

The men used two modes of transport – they drove to the park in a taxi and boarded a bus in the Skukuza area. “The three were being driven from Skukuza to Malalane when a game driver became suspicious and alerted the police,” said the source. It is not clear what exactly caused the game driver to become wary of them.

According to Skukuza SAPS spokesman, WO Willie Broodryk, the men were allegedly in possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. “We believe that they had intended to poach rhino,” he said. The bus in which they had been travelling was confiscated and two of the men taken into custody. The third escaped.

Broodryk added that four persons – the two men and their taxi and bus drivers – were charged with conspiring to commit a crime in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Lowvelder is in the process of obtaining their names and will keep tabs on this developing story. The men have not applied for bail yet.

  • Lowvelder previously reproted that Murray & Roberts’ coordinates the construction of Skukuza Conference Lodge. The company’s media executive, Ed Jardim, has since indicated that Murray & Roberts does not coordinate the project. The project is now the responsibility of another company called Concor Construction.
Helene Eloff
Legal Adviser & Journalist

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