21 officials arrested for poaching related offences

GOVERNMENT’S focus on anti-corruption strategies in the protracted battle to protect the rhino is starting to yield dividends, with 21 officials arrested for poaching related offences. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Thursday gave a progress report on the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management Approach of Rhinoceros.

Molewa said a total of 220 weapons were seized in rhino-related incidents both inside and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP) in 2017.

“There have been arrests made for poaching-related offences from amongst our own personnel. Regrettably, during 2017, 21 officials were arrested in this regard,” she said.

South African National Parks (SANParks) has also instituted a programme of integrity testing throughout the organisation to support ongoing anti-poaching efforts. This, Minister Molewa said, is part of national government’s commitment to root out corruption.

WATCH: Rhino charges towards Kruger motorist

The 2017 anti-poaching report shows that 502 alleged rhino poachers and 16 alleged traffickers were arrested nationally, bringing the total figure to 518. This represents a decrease from 2016 when 680 poachers and traffickers were arrested.

The number of arrests of alleged poachers in the KNP stood at 446 in 2017. This includes 189 arrested inside the KNP and 257 adjacent to the park.

She acknowledged the work of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in ensuring that all cases involving poaching make it to trial and are successfully prosecuted.

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Northglen News

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