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Alleged rhino poaching kingpin killed

Alleged rhino poaching kingpin Petros Sidney Mabuza was shot dead in Hazyview‚ Mpumalanga‚ on Thursday.

Mabuza‚ also known as “Mr Big”‚ allegedly died on his way to hospital after an apparent hit. Media reports say his Ford Ranger was struck by at least 17 bullets.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi has confirmed the fatal shooting.

“I can confirm that a man who was investigated by the Hawks on poaching-related cases was shot and killed at Hazyview today [Thursday] around 1pm‚” he said.

In a video doing the rounds on social media‚ a black car is seen approaching the Ranger‚ which is parked under the shade of a tree. A few seconds later ‚ men get out of the black vehicle and‚ it appears‚ this is when the shooting takes place. The black car soon drives away.

Hlathi called on eyewitnesses to come forward and assist the police.

“This issue happened during the day and people were lingering around. It could be that people saw what happened … They should approach the Hazyview police station with information so we can arrest those who are responsible‚ because no-one has the right to take the life of another person‚” he said.

Mabuza has been in and out of the courts since 2018 on charges of rhino poaching. He was also facing murder charges.

Anti-poaching activist Jamie Joseph‚ founder of Saving The Wild‚ claimed that Mabuza had many people in his pockets‚ including those in the justice and police sectors.

“I have no doubt the trial would have been sabotaged. There is no political will in SA to save the rhino‚ but today justice of the street was served‚” she said.

Source: ARENA Holdings.