Matobo housebreaker arrested for possession of pangolin scales

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

A Matobo man, last week appeared before a Bulawayo Magistrate facing charges of possessing pangolin scales and claws valued at more than RTGS$2 000.

Xolani Ndiweni (33) appeared before Magistrate Joseph Mabeza and was remanded in custody for trial to Monday, May 13.

Ndiweni is being charged with unlawful possession of a trophy of a specifically protected animal.

Prosecutor Carol Matanga told the court that on March 19 this year, at around 2pm, police officers and game rangers from the neighbouring Matopo National Park, swooped on Ndiweni’s homestead with the intention of arresting him over cases of unlawful entry and theft.

The police officers searched the accused’s hut and stumbled upon 404 pangolin scales and five claws kept in a sack. The sack was hanging from the roof of the hut.

The prosecutor told the court that the accused failed to produce a permit which allowed him to possess the pangolin scales and claws. He was immediately arrested. The scales weighed two kilogrammes.