A South African man was slapped with a five-year jail term last Friday after he was convicted of illegal possession of elephant tusks worth $4 875.
His two alleged accomplices were further remanded in custody after they denied the charge.
Thulani Ngubane (24), of Chapman Castle in South Africa, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of elephant tusks when he appeared before Binga resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu. His alleged accomplices Mzwandile Mkize (24) and Mpumelelo Ndlovu (30), whose residential addresses were not given in court, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The magistrate sentenced Ngubane to five years in jail. Two years were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The elephant tusks and the vehicle he was driving, a BMW, were forfeited to the State.
Mkize and Ndlovu were remanded in custody to September 9 for continuation of trial after they pleaded not guilty.
On August 10 this year at about 2:45am Ngubane, Mkize and Ndlovu were travelling towards Bulawayo along the Bulawayo–Victoria Falls highway using Ngubane’s car.
The trio was stopped at a police roadblock at the 42km peg and found in possession of two elephant tusks which were hidden under a mat in the vehicle’s boot.
Police immediately arrested and charged them with illegal possession of the tusks.
The tusks, which weighed 12,5kg and 7kg and were 1, 9 metres and 1, 0 metres long respectively, were produced in court as evidence.
David Never Shiku prosecuted.