A 31-year-old man accused of rhino poaching has told the police that Kruger National Park (KNP) rangers stuck a rifle up his anus. The man, Santos Ngoveni, was arrested around Skukuza on August 30. He has not yet been asked to plead to charges of trespassing and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
His lawyer, Mike Nonyane, told African Eye News Service that the rangers brutally assaulted Ngoveni and penetrated his anus with a rifle. “During his arrest, KNP rangers forced Ngoveni to admit that he was in possession of a gun. Ngoveni told the rangers that he doesn’t have a gun, his friends ran away with the firearms but the rangers insisted that he admit to possessing a firearm,” Nonyane told AENS.
Ngoveni is currently being detained at the Skukuza police station where he received medical treatment. He appeared before the Skukuza Magistrate’s Court August 31 and the case was postponed to September 9 for bail application. Nonyane is adamant that his client’s case of intent to cause grievous bodily harm should be changed to rape.
“The rangers brutally assaulted Ngoveni and penetrated his anus with a rifle. This case was supposed to be a rape case. In terms of Sexual Offences Act, the conduct of the rangers constitutes rape. Therefore I will write a letter to the magistrate to change the charges to a rape case,” said Nonyane, adding that a court date has not been decided on.
Ngoveni said he is grateful to be alive. “I just thank God for my life, I am recovering and the injuries are healing,” Ngoveni said. Kruger spokesman William Mabasa said that the park’s management wasn’t aware of the incident, but will await the courts to make a decision.- African Eye News Service.