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SA Pastor kills crocodile

01 March 2012, 11:20 Thabisile Khoza

South Africa - A pastor and a church member accused of hunting, killing and skinning a two-metre-long crocodile have appeared in a South African court.

Pastor Samuel Zitha, 47, and church member Sibusiso Mnisi 28, were arrested on Monday after a local chief and his headman reported to police that the two men were seen with a crocodile at the pastor’s house.

They were not asked to plead to charges of illegal hunting when they appeared before a magistrate’s court on Tuesday on charges of illegal hunting.

"We want to thank Chief Madala Nkuna for reporting this incident to us," police station spokeswoman Constable Tshepo Lebjane told African Eye News Service (AENS).

Chief Nkuna, who heads aTribal Authority in the province where the incident occured, told AENS that he went to the police after concerned villagers gave him a tip-off.

"The scared villagers came to report that (two men) were seen carrying a big crocodile and planned to skin it...on Monday afternoon," said Nkuna. “I have never seen anything like this since I have been a leader in this area. People can’t just kill crocodiles.”


Headman Mkhonto added that villagers believed that the crocodile’s parts would be used for muti.

“We believe the crocodile was hunted at the Sabie River some days ago because it was already rotten. I suspect that this is not the first time that crocodiles have been hunted and killed in the area,” said Mkhonto.

Zitha and Mnisi were released on R500 bail each. The case was postponed to March 22 for further investigation.

- African Eye News Service

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