HARARE – A ZIMBABWEAN court has slapped a South African man with a 30-day jail term or an equivalent $50 (about R750) fine for possession of a crocodile tooth.
Ettiene Justin Chapelle (25) from Kimberly in the Northern Cape Province was arrested in Harare recently while boarding a British Airways flying to Johannesburg. Scanners detected the tooth in his luggage during screening by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
He pleaded not guilty but could not explain the purpose of boarding with the crocodile tooth when he appeared before a Harare magistrate, Gamuchirai Siwardi.
Chapelle has been charged with contravening the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s Wildlife Act, which is harsh against poaching.
The court ruled he was shipping the tooth for auction. Crocodile teeth are sought after for jewelry.
At the time of going to print, the parks management was still to determine the value of the tooth.
Henry Chikonang’ombe represented the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority while Oscar Madhume stood for the Attorney-General’s office n the court case.
– CAJ News