/ 17 September 2021

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Sa Should Consider Rhino Farming And Horn Trading, Says Department
Private citizens who own rhinos are legally allowed to stockpile rhino horns from dehorning procedures and from carcasses of rhinos who have died naturally, under strict conditions. Photo: Supplied

The alleged rhino-horn kingpin, Johannes Groenewald, and Mpumalanga businessman Schalk Steyn appeared briefly in the Nelspruit magistrate’s court on Friday, after being released on bail in July. 

Steyn, 48, better known as AB, and Groenewald, 53 — aka Dawie — face charges for the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns. The two were apprehended in July while transporting 19 rhino horns in two vehicles. The horns are valued at R2.6-million. They were granted bail of R50 000 each three days after their arrest. 

Friday’s court proceedings were brief. 

The National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa, said the matter is postponed to 10 December “for further investigation”. It is understood trial dates will be set during the court proceedings in December. 

Groenewald has another pending case relating to similar charges against him and six others. Groenewald, his wife, professional hunters and two veterinarians were arrested after a 15-month investigation allegedly linking them to illegal rhino-poaching operations stretching over four years. 

The matter has run in the high court in Pretoria for more than a decade.