SABC News - Ivory Dealer Goldberg Sentenced to 5 Years:Tuesday 24 April 2012

Ivory Dealer Goldberg Sentenced to 5 Years

Tuesday 24 April 2012 11:36

REUTERS

(SABC)

Convicted ivory dealer Mark Goldberg has been sentenced to an effective five years in prison in the Cape Town Regional Court.

Goldberg was convicted on four charges of possession and the sale of ivory worth 32 million rand in July last year.

A warrant for Goldberg's arrest was issued last week after he failed to appear in the same court for sentencing. He was previously out on R50 000 bail.

Magistrate Wilma van der Merwe says the illegal ivory trade is a 'bone of contention' around the world. She says there had been no documentation explaining the origin of more than a ton of ivory found at the Sea Point curio shop where Goldberg was a manager.

Two years ago, Goldberg tried to enter into a plea bargain, but negotiations failed when the state and defence were unable to reach an agreement on an appropriate sentence. 

The defence is expected to apply for leave to appeal.


 

illegal ivory trade is a 'bone of contention' around the world

Meanwhile, the case against 11 rhino poaching suspects, dubbed the "Groenewald Gang" has been postponed in the Musina Magistrate's Court in Limpopo for further investigations and to finalize information gathered during investigations. This is according to state prosecutor, Joanie Spies.

They were arrested more than a year and a half ago and this is the fourth time the case has been postponed. It's believed the group is responsible for killing hundreds of rhino for their horns.

The suspects include well known veterinarians, professional hunters, helicopter pilots and a well-known safari operator, Dawie Groenewald and his wife.

The suspects will again appear in the Musina Magistrate's Court on the 19th of October.

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