Two suspected poachers have been killed in a shootout with police in the Loskop Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga.
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said a member of the Special Task Force (STF) was wounded in the standoff on Saturday night.
“The team‚ comprising of members of the SAPS Special Task Force and the local Stock Theft Unit‚ acting on intelligence‚ tracked down two suspected poachers when they came under fire shortly after 9pm‚” he said in a statement.
“A shootout ensued which resulted in the STF member being shot in the leg and two suspects being fatally wounded. The team recovered a rifle which was fitted with a silencer.”
Naidoo said the operation was part of broader efforts to tackle poaching.
“In recent years South Africa has been plagued by the poaching of rhinos‚ primarily for their horns. These heinous deeds seem to continue despite many poachers losing their lives and others having been arrested and handed down lengthy jail terms.
“Various disciplines of the SAPS have pledged their unwavering commitment to continue combatting the poaching of this dwindling critical resource without fear or favour.”
He applauded the officers involved in Saturday’s operation.
“The team involved in Saturday night’s incident must be praised for having put their lives on the line as do many of our police officers on a daily basis to protect life and property.
“We continue to call upon our communities to support the South African Police Service in our effort to protect the natural resources of our country so that our children and children’s children can enjoy them for generations to come.”
Source: TMG Digital.