Kuruman Regional Court convicted and sentenced Stanford Hatidani (39), charged with contravention of Northern Cape Nature Conservation Act 09 of 2009, read with Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (restricted activities involving specially protected species/plants) as well as contravention of Immigration Act 13 of 2002.
In June 2022, Kuruman police received information regarding three males in possession of protected plants without the necessary permits.
A follow-up was made and the suspects were arrested and detained at Kuruman SAPS. The suspects were found to be in possession of an assortment of protected plants among them Asteraceas species 1 and tylecodon wallichii worth an estimated value of R446 500. Two other accused Silence Chane (44) and Blessing Chane (23) pleaded guilty on all counts and were sentenced as follows, Chane was sentenced to pay a fine of R10 000, failure to pay will see him undergo (5) years direct imprisonment. Blessing fined R1000, failure to pay will see him serve a (12) months imprisonment, further declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The main accused Standford Hatidani did not plead and chose to continue with his trial, on Thursday, 09 November 2023, the Kuruman Regional Court found him guilty on all charges and sentenced him to an effective (10) years prison term. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Stephen Mabuela welcomes the sentence as he believes will send the message to those targeting protected plants/species.