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South Africa in Need of International Partners to Tackle Poaching

Workers perform a post-mortem on the carcass of a rhino after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, September 14, 2011.
Workers perform a post-mortem on the carcass of a rhino after it was killed for its horn by poachers at the Kruger national park in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, September 14, 2011.

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  • An interview of Albi Modise, South African Department of Environmental Affairs

Ricci Shryock

South African authorities continue to see an alarming rise in rhino poaching.  So far, 150 rhinos have been poached in the first three months of this year compared to 83 in all of 2008.

A spokesman for the country’s Department of Environmental Affairs, Albi Modise, said, in order to tackle the problem, the government is working with neighboring Mozambique, as well as officials in Vietnam and China, where the rhino horns often end up after being poached in South Africa.

“The criminals who operate in this space don’t operate in one country,” said Modise.  “If South Africa operates and works only on our own without working closely with our partners internationally, like Vietnam, partners in China, partners like Mozambique and other partners that we will start discussions with soon, we will not win this war.”

He added that one sign suggesting that improvements could be on the horizon is Mozambique’s consideration of legislation to make wildlife poaching a criminal offense, with a heavier punishment.

“There has been an increase in the poaching activities in the Kruger National Park along the border with Mozambique,” he said.  “We feel strongly that we’ve closed the gap from the side of Mozambique and closed the gap of South Africa.”

According to Modise, South Africa has already stepped up its punishment of poachers.

“A recent example is when three Mozambican nationals were sentenced to 20 years.  It’s a way that heavy sentences can serve as a deterrent and the government will not allow plundering of national resources to continue,” he said.

Last year, a total of 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa, up from 333 in 2010 and 122 in 2009.

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Comments
     
by: Hidden Facts
April 03, 2012 7:42 PM
The issue of rhino poaching needs to be put in perspective. The photograph in the article reveals the truth, that the horns are the key
to instant wealth. A rhino farmer in RSA has 764 rhino and 500kg of rhino horn worth a retail value of R200million stored in off site vaults.
I just wish they could see the value of food security, perhaps their focus might shift.


by: Realist
April 03, 2012 8:33 AM
The Government needs to prioritize farm security. Another farmer 46 years old, from Bloemhof beaten to death in his house Monday 2.4.2012 by criminals. House ransacked, vehicle stolen. The Minister
of Police must take decisive action to provide security assistance to the farmers. Without them, serious consequences await us all apart from the rhino/game farms.


by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 03, 2012 2:01 AM
Human creation by God is His worst creation! They develop hi-tec to kill each other, as well as harmless environmental animals and to destroy ecological system. It appears that He wants to enjoy the madness of the so called intelligent(!) creation.How they die on a pile of useless money until the day of resurrection only to be punished furthermore! Exactly the same way as we enjoy to create robots to enjoy and destroy them afterwards!


by: Lyn
April 01, 2012 11:22 PM
Hi Realist, you are quite correct - preventative measure for our Rhino poaching is commendable but definitely a lot more should be done i.e. full moratorium on all hunting of Rhino and a full census of all Rhino must be conducted. I also agree, the attacks on our farmers are brutal and SA must step in and treat this with the committment that it deserves. Otherwise SA is going to end up just another African state with nothing!


by: Realist
March 30, 2012 10:35 AM
Whilst preventative measures to combat Rhino poaching are commendable, it appears that the focus on farm security by
the Police, is losing momentum in preventing attacks on farmers
and their families by criminals. Farmers are the backbone of food
security, when it comes to crop production, in South Africa and this should not be overlooked by any account.

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