A 50-year-old Moabi Victor Moribe was sentenced to eight years imprisonment five days after being arrested on Thursday, 3 June 2021 during crime intelligence driven operation by the Sannieshof Stock theft and Endangered Species (STES) Unit.
The accused was sentenced by Itsoseng Regional Court on Tuesday, 8 June 2021 after pleading guilty for contravening Section 57(1) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004). However, the sentence was wholly suspended for five years on condition that the accused is not convicted for the same offence during the period of suspension.
The accused’s apprehension and subsequent sentencing emanate from an incident in which six suspects were arrested in Itsoseng on Monday, 11 June 2018 by members of Provincial Stock Theft Task Team who acted on a tip-off that elephant ivories were kept in a house in Zone 1, Itsoseng. During the search, six pieces of elephant ivory, worth over R1 million were found and confiscated although Moribe, who is the owner of the house, managed to evade the arrest. As a result, the case against six accused was not enrolled, but a warrant was issued for the arrest of Moribe.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner of North West, Major General Dintletse Molefe welcomed the sentencing of the accused. She said that this should serve as a lesson that the long arm of the law will always catch up with those who think that they can commit crime and get away with it.