Three men arrested last week after allegedly being caught with about 300kg of chokka appeared briefly in the Humansdorp Magistrate’s Court.
The Thursday afternoon bust took place after a patrolling neighbourhood watch vehicle spotted a boat beaching on Jeffreys Bay’s Paradise Beach.
Then on Friday, Patensie resident James Wait, 39, and two workers, Pieter Williams, 52, and Deon Jesaja, 31, of Hankey, were released on R1 000 bail at the police station and warned to appear in court on Monday.
In court, the three men were formally charged for allegedly violating the Marine Resources Act and given a further extension on their bail at R500 each.
Paradise Beach Neighbourhood Watch chairman John Wiehahn said the coastline was being monitored for illegal use of the slipway when the boat beached.
“All the law enforcement officials were alerted. The suspicious part was the large containers being carried off the back of the boat,” he said.
Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said that after the police were alerted to the boat beaching at the secluded beach, information was received about a Nissan bakkie transporting the chokka on the Ashton Bay road.
“The vehicle was heading back [towards] Jeffreys Bay when [it was] spotted,” she said.
“The vehicle was stopped and [Williams and Jesaja] were arrested inside the bakkie.”
Swart said information was followed up that led toWait’s arrest a short while later. The case was postponed until November 30.