Four suspected poachers were apprehended on Sunday 19 April on a farm in the Northern Cape. Three were arrested and a fourth wounded fatally during a shootout between the suspects and members of the Tswalu Anti-Poaching Unit.
A member of the Kuruman Stock Theft unit requested the assistance of the Tswalu Anti-Poaching unit in tracking unknown footprints discovered on a farm in the Severn area in the JTG Cluster. According to reports from the owner, he has been experiencing incidents of poaching on the farm.
The Tswalu Anti-Poaching unit provided aerial and ground support to SAPS. Assistance was also offered by Severn and Van Zylsrus police members.
The members of the Tswalu Anti-Poaching unit who were in the helicopter noticed four suspects in the veld and relayed the location to the members on the ground, where they were caught red handed while attempting to poach.
An exchange of gun fire followed during which two were injured, one uninjured and one killed. The suspects were arrested and several firearms and ammunition were confiscated on the scene.
The injured suspects were transported to a local hospital in Kuruman for medical treatment and will be under police guard until their court appearance.
The police will be investigating an inquest case as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, trespassing, contravening the Disaster Management Act Regulations and Illegal immigrants as three of the suspects are undocumented immigrants.
The JTG cluster commander, Major General Johan Bean commended the members from the Tswalu Anti- Poaching unit, Kuruman Stock Theft unit, Severn and Van Zylsrus police for the multi-disciplinary approach that was followed in the apprehension and arrest of the suspects in stamping down the authority of the state, especially during the lockdown period.