Re: SA Rhino Horn Stockpiles DEA and Others

Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:18 pm

Obviously the figures don't effect SANParks stores, for some reason... ... 4-thursday

Over R10 000 000 000 worth...

20 tons or so?

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:31 pm

TNA: Dec 24 2014 7:11AM CEO suspended over rhinos

France Nyaka

The board of directors at the Mpumalanga tourism and parks agency has suspended the agency’s CEO Jacques Modipane following his alleged involvement in the disappearance of rhino horns worth millions.

More than 100 horns were stolen during a burglary at the agency’s offices at Mataffin in Mbombela in April. The board’s chairperson, William Lubisi, said that apart from the theft of the horns, Modipane had also been suspended because of his participation in continuous irregular expenditure at the agency. Lubisi said the decision to suspend Modipane was carefully debated.

“The board took office from effective September and our mandate was to stabilise, transform and put the agency on a commercial trajectory to realise its potential. “Part of that process includes identifying and addressing the challenges that the entity has faced and working towards clarifying our vision and defining our strategy towards the achievement of our goal to be a world-class tourism destination,” Lubisi said.

He said Modipane was suspended with full pay and benefits, pending the outcome of an investigation. “This process will allow a smooth investigation process to unfold without any hindrance,” Lubisi said. Speaking to The New Age yesterday, Modipane said that he was shocked about the agency’s decision to put him on suspension.

“I am shocked about my suspension because the letter only states that I have been suspended regarding the theft of the rhino horns but I have got no formal charges. “The board members also stated they still needed to investigate further and take it from there,” Modipane said.

He said that he would sue the board members and the agency because his suspension was politically motivated. “The reason behind my suspension is politics. “The suspension is politically motivated because I have a good profile of politics in the province.
“Therefore I will take them to court.

There is nothing else but only to tarnish my image,” Modipane said. Charges of housebreaking and theft are being investigated by the Hawks regarding the incident. Police said that the horns were stolen in the main strong room after perpetrators gained entry through the office’s window and broke other doors.

Thereafter four suspects were arrested in connection with the theft. The accused were identified as Velly Zwane, 44, Ali Mjali, 51, Leonard Malatji, 32, and Selby Khoza, 33.

The suspects are out on bail and will be appearing in the Nelspruit Regional Court on January 23.

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:45 pm

Yup, the whole Mpumalanga Parks Board has become a political soap opera! 0*\

If the CEO of an organisation is fired because some horns were stolen, then a lot of bigwigs need to be fired in this country! :yes:

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:47 pm

This is really a soap opera...

Hawks red-faced over MTPA rhino horn theft case
The investigating officer was accused of poaching related crimes.
4 hours ago

MBOMBELA – The Hawks’ investigation into the theft of rhino horn valued at R55 million from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) in 2014, took an embarrassing turn when the investigating officer was charged with poaching-related crimes.

Const Duduzi Mothubadse is facing charges in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court over an alleged incident in 2011.

The case against the four men accused of stealing the MTPA’s horns was provisionally withdrawn on September 15. They are considering taking legal action against the police for, what they claim, were unlawful arrests.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman in Mpumalanga, Ms Monica Nyuswa, this was done pending further investigation. However, some fear that more officials may be incriminated should the trial continue.

Court records dating back to the bail hearing tell of cross-border rhino-horn smuggling, kidnapping, police brutality and the police turning on its informants.

The MTPA rhino-horn saga started during Easter Weekend in 2014, when the disappearance of 112 pieces of rhino horn was discovered.

Mr Ali Gideon Mtsjali, Mr Leonard Sizwe Malatjie, Mr Selby Khoza and Mr Velly William Zwane were arrested between June 6 and July 2. They were charged with housebreaking and the theft of rhino horn.

Senior state prosecutor, Ms Ansie Venter, placed on record that they had arranged to sell them in Magudu Kanyini in Mozambique.
During their bail hearing on July 6, Mtshali, a taxi driver and the spouse of a policewoman, testified that police had assaulted him after his arrest in KaNyamazane.

According to Mtshali, they threatened him and instructed him to sign an affidavit. He added that the police failed to read him his rights upon being taken into custody.

The next day Malatjie, an informant for the police and SANParks, testified that he too had been assaulted during his arrest. Venter argued that the inside information to which he had access put him in a good position to assist sellers of rhino horns. Malatjie said he was not guilty of the accusations levelled against him.

Venter said Malatjie claimed in his police statement that Khoza told him what the safe looked like. He denied this, saying he mentioned the name of his fellow informant, Khoza, while being questioned merely in an attempt to stop the assault.

On July 25 Khoza told the court he had witnessed Mothubadse trying to buy a rhino horn during an undercover operation in 2011. Khoza and Mothubadse were about to purchase a horn when Mothubadse deviated from the original plan and negotiated to buy it for himself and a colleague. The next day two men conducted the sale for R30 000, Khoza claimed.

The four accused were released on bail of R20 000 each. During the two years since the bail hearing the case has been postponed repeatedly, until it was provisionally withdrawn.

Khoza’s legal representative, Adv Pieter Naudé, confirmed Mothubadse has been charged and his trial partially heard.

“As for my client, we are preparing to launch civil action against the police as he was unlawfully arrested. He was assaulted during his arrest and apprehended without the state having a prima-facie case against him,” he said.

The MTPA concluded its investigation into the incident this year. Spokesman Ms Kholofelo Nkambule stated that the report would not be made available to the media.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and the Hawks have reportedly launched internal investigations themselves. Sources close to the investigation told Lowvelder that SANParks officials were implicated in those investigations. The source said one of the accused was kidnapped and taken across the Mozambican border without a passport, as part of the 2014 investigation.
The source added that money, recovered during undercover operations, had been pocketed by members of investigating teams.

More police officials and SANParks officials may be incriminated, should more testimony come to light if the MTPA trial continued. As this testimony would be a part of the public record, it would be open for use in the various bodies’ internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

At the time of going to press, neither the NPA, Ipid nor the Hawks had confirmed the existence or progress of such investigations or the prosecution of Mothubadse.

Helene Eloff ... heft-case/

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:16 pm

In the midst of the City Press exposé of State Security Minister David Mahlobo’s alleged friendship with a suspected rhino horn trader, a theft case of 112 rhino horns worth about R116 million has virtually collapsed.

The horns were stolen from the storeroom of the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency (MTPA) in Mbombela on April 20 2014 following a break-in.

The case took a knock when its investigating officer attached to the organised crime unit of the Hawks, Constable Mduduzi Motubatse, was arrested for an unrelated rhino poaching incident that happened in 2011.

Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Lucy Sekotodi said that Motubatse was suspended from work following his arrest last year.

“The criminal case is provisionally withdrawn pending a decision from the NPA [the National Prosecuting Authority] while the departmental [disciplinary] case is still on,” Sekotodi said.

However, she was unable to clarify whether the MTPA case was given to another investigator or whether any new suspects had been profiled or arrested.

The Hawks initially arrested four men after the break-in. Last year, the Nelspruit regional court provisionally withdrew the burglary and theft charges against Gideon Mtshali (51), Leonard Sizwe Malatjie (34), Velly William Zwane (43) and Selby George Khoza (39) owing to insufficient evidence.

Mpumalanga finance and economic development MEC, Eric Kholwane, also hired iFirm – a private forensic investigation company owned by former Gauteng and Mpumalanga police commissioners, Mzwandile Petros and Thulani Ntobela – to investigate the storeroom break-in.

Kholwane’s spokesperson, Mohau Ramodibe, said: “A decision has been taken not to release the report on the rhino horn theft owing to future security measures of the horns. I also don’t know the contents of the report.”

The MTPA’s former board pointed fingers at erstwhile CEO Jacques Modipane, but failed to link him to the theft. Modipane took a golden handshake estimated at R5 million, following a settlement agreement.

National Hawks spokespesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the Chinese national, Guan Jian Guang, who claimed to be Mahlobo’s friend in an Al Jazeera documentary last week, was on the run.

Guang’s spa at Sonpark Centre in Mbombela, which Mahlobo conceded to visiting from time to time for treatment, was closed for four days this week after the documentary was aired.

It reopened on Friday and clients were trickling in.

When City Press visited the spa in the afternoon, a young Chinese man came with a local newspaper and all the workers – four Chinese woman – huddled around it reading about Guang. They spoke among one another in Chinese.

City Press overheard two black woman doing a manicure praising the service. “They’re better than the white-owned spas, because they’re not afraid to touch you,” said one woman. “You definitely feel better after their massage,” said the other.

Guang is also running a spa at Khayalami Lodge in Sonheuwel, Mbombela, and also owns a restaurant, Shiang Xu, at Sonpark.

A South African woman who answered the phone at Khayalami Lodge claimed that the spa’s staff did not report for duty this week.

“There’s nobody this side as well. We don’t have their contact numbers, but go on the internet, you’ll see there’s a number there,” she said.

At Shiang Xu, a Chinese woman answered the phone. “I never see this guy. The owner not here (sic),” she said.

Mulaudzi said Guang had been a “person of interest” for some time and that the Hawks had pleaded with Al Jazeera not to broadcast the documentary because it would interfere with their investigation.

“You know how investigations go. You collect evidence until you are satisfied and sure that NPA would not have a problem. We were waiting for the right moment to take him on,” he said.

Mulaudzi said the Hawks would make sure that Guang did not leave the country. “Our members had been busy in Limpopo this week, but when they return to Mpumalanga, they will look into the matter,” he said.

Mahlobo has confirmed visiting Guang’s spa, but has denied the Chinese national’s assertion that they were close. He has also said that he was not going to resign amid calls from opposition parties to do so.

More photos circulated after the documentary, which showed that former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa’s family and ANC Ehlanzeni regional chairperson, Ngrayi Ngwenya, also used Guang’s services. ... s-20161120

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:24 pm

Oh my gwad,.. so demoralizing, all the red tape
that supposedly would justify our democracy!!

We as a nation, black/white and animals included
need to retire back into the rethink tank!!

May someone out there be privy to flipping the switch!,
for a turn or two!!

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:48 am


Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:39 am

If posted at the wrong place, please remove. 0:

Heard this earlier: "5 April 2017
Johannesburg – Rhino horns will be able to be bought and sold legally in South Africa for the first time in eight years after a ruling by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

The court dismissed an appeal by the Department of Environmental Affairs aimed at maintaining a ban on domestic rhino horn trade, SA's Private Rhino Owners' Association said".

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:31 am

Sickening! 0*\

Re: Rhino Horn Stockpiles & Thefts

Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:18 pm

You will even be able to export it , two at a time 0*\