Murphy Nganga, IOL | December 15, 2021
As the country confronts concerns over the fourth wave, the spike in rhino poaching is gaining momentum yet again, after the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) reported 24 rhino carcasses found in South Africa since the beginning of the month.
Just this week, four suspects from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique made their court appearance in Ceres on Monday in connection with poaching rhino in the Inverdoorn Game Reserve.
NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, said: “The appearance of the accused on the preferred charges on the charge sheet and their case has been postponed until December 20, 2022 for bail information, for them to organise legal representation, confirm their legal status and ensure that a Shona interpreter is available,” said Ntabazalila.
DEFF spokesperson, Albi Modise said in a statement that while the department condemned the continued poaching, members of the public are encouraged to assist them in fighting the scourge.
“The truth of the matter is that 24 rhino carcasses have been found in South Africa since December 1, 2021. As of today’s date, the provinces have reported carcasses as follows, KwaZulu/Natal (6), Western Cape (4), Mpumalanga (7) and Kruger National Park (7).
“The Department condemns the continued poaching of these iconic species for their horn, and commends the work being done by rangers and security officials over the festive period to stem the killing of rhino. In the first 14 days of December, nine alleged poachers have been arrested,” said Modise.
The department encourages members of the public to assist with any information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of poachers by calling 10111 or the environmental crime hotline on 0800 205 005.