In the spirit of Ubuntu and as a gesture of thanks and appreciation for their support, Lalibela Private Game Reserve and members of the Indalo rhino security group near Grahamstown hosted more than 250 members of the local Seven Fountains community at a ”braai”(barbeque) get-together this evening.

Co-ordinated by Lalibela’s Charmain Gradwell, the event was arranged to honour the two young community school children, aged 8 and 12, and several adult community members who made a brave and gallant citizen’s arrest of Trymore Chauke, a convicted rhino poacher and one of the seven inmates who escaped from the Waainek Correctional Services facility in Grahamstown last month. (Read the News24 article here)
{Chauke is a member of the recently convicted Grahamstown 6, or the Chitiyo Gang, a group of rhino poachers who were arrested for several rhino attacks and poaching incidents}.

Saving the Rhinos Blog - Braai celebration

Thanking the community for their display of bravery and neighbourly support in apprehending Chauke, Charmain Gradwell announced her foundation will be supplying the two school kids with school uniforms and extras for the remainder of their school years.

Gradwell heads up Lalibela’s community outreach program. “A monetary gift was also handed over to the 6 men who physically apprehended Chauke and waited until police arrived. Another substantial amount of cash was also deposited into the Yarrow farm family account as a token of thanks” she added.

According to a NEWS24 report: Seven Fountains community leader and member of the community police forum Zola Mjadu said the community rounded up the man and called the police. Mjadu said residents grew suspicious after seeing the stranger near Yarrow Farm and immediately suspected he was one of the escapees.

“We quickly assembled a team of strong men and placed this man under citizen arrest. We then took pictures of him and sent them to the police to confirm if it was really him. After they positively identified him, we waited for an hour for police to arrive and take him away.” Mjadu said Chauke was weak and did not even resist arrest: He cooperated. He did not give us a tough time at all. He added this happened as the community was on high alert on Sunday after two young children searching for calves had earlier reported seeing a stranger hiding in the bushes along a dirt road near Narrow Farm. “They told their parents, and a meeting was called about a possible escapee hiding in the area. We selected a team of men to be on standby,” said Mjadu.

Chauke was the third of the seven suspects to be rearrested since the daring prison break last month.

In search of more reading? Here’s more about our Community & Conservation projects on Lalibela!