BULAWAYO-BASED professional hunter Theodore Albert Christian Bronkhorst, arrested in July for allegedly conniving with American dentist-cum-hunter Walter Palmer in the illegal killing of the country’s treasured lion, Cecil, has been fingered in another wildlife-related offence.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Bronkhorst was arrested early this week for allegedly assisting three South Africans in a foiled bid to smuggle 29 sables through an illegal crossing point near Beitbridge Border Post last week.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba on Tuesday said Bronkhorst was being held at Hillside Police Station and would appear in court soon for contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act.
“He is facing charges under the Parks and Wildlife Act for ‘moving wild animals without a permit’ and as an accomplice for smuggling wild animals,” Charamba said.
In July this year, Bronkhorst was arrested together with Honest Trymore Ndlovu for allegedly assisting in the killing of Cecil the Lion at Hwange National Park.
They were granted $1 000 bail each and matter is still pending at the Hwange Magistrates’ Court and both Bronkhorst and Ndlovu have denied the charge.
The death of Cecil triggered an international outcry from wildlife conservationists with some calling for Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe for trial.
Bronkhorst’s alleged accomplices in the latest case appeared at the Beitbridge Magistrates’ Court last Saturday and were not asked to enter a plea. They remain in police custody. They were charged with illegal capture and translocation of wildlife, and attempting to export the sables illegally.
The suspects are alleged to have taken the sables from a private game park in the resort town of Victoria Falls on September 11 and driven them to an illegal crossing point on the Limpopo River in Beitbridge.