Widow of Mnisi Clan Chief, Clyde Mnisi Accused in Rhino-Poaching Syndicate Gunned Down Days After His Funeral

Widow of Mnisi Clan Chief, Clyde Mnisi Accused in Rhino-Poaching Syndicate Gunned Down Days After His Funeral

The recent killing of Charlene Felicity Mathews, the widow of Clyde Mnisi, has shaken the community in South Africa. Clyde Mnisi was the chief of the Mnisi clan, but he was also accused of being a kingpin in a massive rhino-poaching syndicate. He was murdered near the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport on March 26th, and Mathews was shot dead days after his funeral in their home in Mkhuhlu Section F. The police found her body with multiple gunshot wounds to her head, and two other family members were wounded and taken to the hospital.

According to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the investigation is still ongoing, but it has been revealed that the suspects somehow got into the house and shot the victims before fleeing the scene. The police found cartridges on the site, and they have assembled a team of investigators to apprehend the perpetrator(s) and establish how they gained entry into the house.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown, and no arrests have been made. However, the murder of Mnisi, Mathews’ husband, is believed to be linked to his involvement in the rhino-poaching syndicate. The syndicate operated with almost military precision around Kruger National Park and private and state-owned reserves in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

They moved rhino horns from protected areas through a logistical, communication, and sales network that allegedly included government officials, so they could remain undetected. The horns were sold at the highest price to markets in Gauteng and distributed to markets in Southeast Asia. The killing of Mnisi followed the murder of his co-accused, Petros Sydney Mabuza, in another apparent hit in 2021, and the murder of Colonel Leroy Bruwer, who had been investigating the syndicate.

The killing of Mathews and the ongoing investigation into the murder of Mnisi highlights the severity of the rhino-poaching crisis in South Africa. It also emphasizes the dangerous and complex nature of these syndicates and the impact they have on local communities. It is a reminder of the need for greater action to protect wildlife, combat illegal trade networks, and ensure the safety of those who risk their lives to fight against poaching.

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