Three NDF members arrested for poaching in Mangetti National Park

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Three members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) were apprehended on Friday, within the confines of Mangetti National Park.

The arrests followed after park officials saw the perpetrators climbing over a fence during a routine anti-poaching patrol and fence inspection.

The three soldiers were arrested while attempting to claim over the Mangetti Park’s boundary fence into the Mururani location, bearing bags laden with dried game meat ranging from Eland, Kudu and Wildebeest.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, said the arrested soldiers lacked the necessary permit for such activities, which confirmed suspicions of illicit poaching.

Despite attempts to flee, the men were arrested revealing a breach of trust within the very ranks tasked with the protection of Namibia’s wildlife.

“It is really incomprehensible and disappointing that those charged with protecting our wildlife and natural resources are the ones plundering them,” said Muyunda.

“There is no doubt that uniformed forces have been integral in the fight against wildlife crime. However, we have experienced situations where individuals are taking this responsibility lightly and indulge in illegal activities in our national parks. We condemn this, and commend our staff members who were very vigilant in apprehending the suspects,” he added.

The poachers used a service rifle to unlawfully harvest the Kudu, Eland and Wildebeest, with a total value of N$22,450, subsequently processing the meat into biltong for personal gain.

Muyunda added that the trio are expected to appear before the court today.

“The suspects are all male aged 28, 37 and 40 all members of the force deployed in Mangetti National Park. They are expected to appear before the court on 25 March 2024 in Rundu,” Muyunda said.

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