Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed May 17, 2017 8:10 pm

RP X#X ^Q^ ^Q^ ^Q^

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:48 pm

Top anti-poaching cop pulled from beat due to alleged 'murder conspiracy'
2017-06-01 22:44

Tania Broughton, News24 correspondent

Durban - As rhino poaching reaches an unprecedented scale, it has emerged that KwaZulu-Natal's top "anti-poaching" cop has been kicking his heels in a city office after being pulled from the beat in 2015.

Since then, statistics suggest, there has been a marked increase in the number of rhino poached in the province - from 116 that year, to 162 in 2016 and this year, to date, 100.

Warrant Officer JP van Zyl-Roux, 47, has almost 30 years of service - the last 10 years in the Endangered Species Investigation Section of the Hawks, most of it as a "team leader" working undercover in game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal.

During that time, he and his team were responsible for apprehending about 70 rhino poachers, he has been given awards by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and he led a team which investigated an international syndicate, resulting in SA receiving a certificate under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

In a no-holds-barred statement to News24 his lawyer, Jacques Botha, claimed Van Zyl-Roux is now being victimised and "this issue is rooted in the shooting of poachers purportedly linked to a very high-ranking ANC politician.

"I have seen some astounding abuses of power in my 20 years of practice, but this is the most gross abuse I have ever seen," Botha said.

READ: Rhino plot: farmers jailed

'Bizarre' charges

Van Zyl-Roux was taken off anti-poaching investigations because of allegations against him of possible criminal conduct involving a "murder conspiracy" in which alleged poachers were being shot dead.

Botha said the intended criminal charges were "utterly bizarre and ridiculous.

"The charges related to my client allegedly conspiring to kill rhino poachers, all of whom were actually shot by members of the Special Task Force while armed, resisting arrest and shooting back and in circumstances where they were caught red-handed in game reserves.

"Not a single one off the so-called conspirators - the actual shooters - were to be charged nor had any deposed to accomplice [State witness] statements.

"There was no case… my client did not shoot anyone dead. He once shot a gun out of the hand of one poacher and arrested the suspect," Botha said.

"I advised that we would not respond to the allegations until we had all the dockets… they had no answers to the point made as to the multitude of suspects arrested on the same operations [who were not shot] and who pleaded guilty in court or were otherwise convicted.

"The matter went nowhere and it appears there has been a decision not to prosecute."

READ: Increase in KZN rhino poaching


In December 2016, Van Zyl-Roux was issued with a notice that he was being investigated internally and in March he was served with a notice to appear before a disciplinary inquiry.

The charges relate to allegations that he failed to hand over a docket to Anti-Corruption Unit investigators, that private firearms were found in his office and that through his conduct he had put the SAPS into "disrepute and embarrassment".

"This second round is a belated amateur effort at nailing my client about private firearms in his office," said Botha.

Botha said in terms of police regulations, if the allegations are considered "serious" - and a possible dismissible offence - a police officer may be represented by an attorney at the hearing.

But in spite of getting written permission to represent Van-Zyl Roux he was kicked out of the hearing after reading in his client's plea statement.

In it he denied all the allegations and claimed the charges arise out of an "ulterior motive on the part of certain elements with the ranks of employer (SAPS) of which the ultimate aim is to either terminate or curtail my issues with respect to anti-poaching and related corruption activities.

"The charges are fatally defective, vague and embarrassing. The factual nature of these charges is of a truly trivial nature.

"This entire prosecution is malicious and ought to be dismissed forthwith," the plea read.

'Poorly choreographed charade'

Botha said: "The plea caused immediate visible concern to the prosecutor and the trial officer, who both adjourned to conspire to get rid of me as fast as possible.

"They returned with a poorly choreographed charade, giving the game away when the trial officer immediately asked the prosecutor if he had any application to make. Without a second of deliberation, I was immediately released - I say fired - without being afforded an opportunity to respond.

"My client's allegations regarding a conspiracy were now substantiated, it was now so obvious. I placed it on record that I had obviously become a thorn in their sides; the conviction and dismissal of my client was now a foregone conclusion, they were a thinly-disguised tag-team to convict my client and evict him from the SAPS.

"I stated that my presence would have no impact on the outcome of the matter and I would rather help him when he appeals the outcome," Botha said.

Van Zyl-Roux declined to comment on the issue.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the matter was "one for employer and employee and not for public consumption". ... y-20170601

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:37 pm

Picked up an interesting story from Mozambique today, meeting a friend. She says some of the big beneficiaries of poaching there are the sangomas, or witchdoctors. No poacher goes in to poach without getting some good-luck spells and muthi from a sangoma first, to make them invisible to antipoaching! (At a hefty price)

Should a poacher get killed, the family comes to ask the sangoma to explain himself.

The sangoma then asks for various details regarding the preparation and route of the deceased, and then should the family say, for example, the poacher left before sundown, he would say that that is what he told the poacher NOT to too bad! lol

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:55 am


Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:16 am

Aren't Sangomas mostly women?

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:33 am

Some are, Lis! :yes:

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:37 pm

6 rhino killed in just one night in KwaZulu-Natal reserve
2017-07-04 12:37

Tony Carnie, News24 Correspondent

Hluhluwe - Horn poachers have killed another six rhino in a single night shoot-up in KwaZulu-Natal's flagship Hluhluwe-Imfolozi reserve.

It is understood that 11 gunshots were heard around 00:00 on Sunday. At first light on Monday, Ezemvelo KZN wildlife rangers and anti-poaching units went to where the gunshots had been heard and found six dead rhino.

All their horns had been hacked off and removed by the poaching gangs.

Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo confirmed in a brief statement on Tuesday that the six animals had been killed in the Mbhuzane area, in the Imfolozi section of the park.

This is the area where fewer than 100 southern white rhino were rescued from global extinction in the 1890s and subsequently multiplied to nearly 20 000 animals after being spread out to Kruger National Park and other wildlife reserves across Africa.

National statistics

However, more than 6 000 of these animals have been shot and butchered for their horns over the last decade in SA alone.

Over the last three years, poachers have increasingly turned their attention to the KwaZulu-Natal rhino reserves after stricter security measures were introduced in the Kruger National Park.

The latest series of killings in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi has raised the rhino body count in KwaZulu-Natal to 139 so far this year, suggesting that the final death toll in KZN could exceed 260 by year end.

No national statistics have been released so far this year by the department of environmental affairs - though the national killing rate has exceeded 1 000 killings annually for the last four years (around three rhino each day countrywide).

In a separate incident, former Ezemvelo rhino anti-poaching officer Lawrence Munro has been gored by a black rhino in Malawi.

Munro resigned from Ezemvelo eighteen months ago to take over as field operations manager for the African Parks network in Liwonde National Park in Malawi.

Last week he was escorting tourists on foot in Liwonde when a black rhino charged them. Munro stepped out in front to protect the group and was gored in the leg.

He was airlifted to a private hospital in Johannesburg and was reported to be recovering well on Monday night. ... e-20170704

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:43 pm

Why did they only move in the morning? They must have had an idea where the shots came from -O- If the poachers can move in the dark also the rangers should be able to do so!!

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:11 pm

Karen Trendler
12 hrs ·
So sad that hear about the two rhino poached at Rietvlei.

Re: Rhino Poaching 2017

Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:20 am

RogerFraser wrote:Karen Trendler
12 hrs ·
So sad that hear about the two rhino poached at Rietvlei.

:shock: :-(