Perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault sentenced to 20 years

Morne Blignaut and his legal counsel advocate, Alwyn Griebenow, in the Port Elizabeth High Court. File picture
Morne Blignaut and his legal counsel advocate, Alwyn Griebenow, in the Port Elizabeth High Court. File picture
Image: Devon Koen

Convicted perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault who pleaded guilty to two charges of racketeering and one charge of contravening the marine living resources act has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Handing down judgment in the Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Dayalin Chetty said evidence led by the state showed beyond doubt Blignault was the mastermind behind the poaching enterprise.

Chetty sentenced Blignault to 20 years on all three charges.

Blignault had originally pleaded not guilty but did an about turn earlier this month after it became apparent that the state had overwhelming evidence against him.

Blignault’s co-accused, including his ex-wife Marshelle, who pleaded guilty to a string of charges were on the list of state witnesses.

The co-accused will be sentenced on Thursday.

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