Rhino poachers gets 77 year sentence

South African National Parks (SANParks) today, 22 July 2014, welcomed the heavy sentencing of a rhino poacher to a total of 77 years in prison for rhino poaching and related offences. He was sentenced in the Nelspruit Magistrates Court today.

Mandla Chauke was arrested in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in 2011 after he had killed three rhino calves.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Abe Sibiya commended the courts in particular Magistrate Msibi, for imposing such a lengthy jail term. This is a huge triumph for the rhino and we warmly welcome this reward as it will provide the much needed boost to the anti poaching teams who endure harsh conditions for the protection of our parks.

The KNP has lost 370 animals to poaching since January this year and 62 people were arrested in connection with some of the cases.

“Our wish is to see a significant increase in such convictions and for the law enforcement authorities in affected countries to cooperate and work with us to end this scourge”, concluded Sibiya.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Kruger National Park Communications

No decision yet on rhino horn trade

Parliament - No decision has been taken yet on whether South Africa will seek permission from Cites to sell its 18-ton stockpile of rhino horn, Environment Minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday.

“There is no decision yet that says we should go this direction or that direction... we are still investigating,” she told reporters, speaking ahead of debate in Parliament on her department's budget.

Rhino horn can sell illegally on the black market for US60 000 a kilogram. At this price, the government's stockpile would fetch close to R11 billion.

Molewa said South Africa was looking to the 2016 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) conference to “promote sustainable utilisation as an integral part of conservation and economic growth”.

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Unitrans VW steps up once more to make a difference in the war against poaching

Unitrans Volkswagen re-affirmed its commitment in the fight against rhino poaching with the signing of a new sponsorship agreement with the South African National Parks (SANParks) Honorary Rangers at SANParks Head Office in Pretoria today.

South Africa is home to approximately 22 000 white and black rhinoceros of which more than 10 000 are found in the Kruger National Park. This represents around 70% of the world’s total rhino population. The South African population is one of the last viable rhino populations in the world, which makes its survival crucial.

The Unite Against Poaching initiative has contributed almost R7 million to the SANParks’ counter poaching effort over the past three years.

“As the SANParks Honorary Rangers we are very excited about the continued relationship with Unitrans. It is partnerships of this nature that allows us to provide the desperately needed support in terms of training and equipment to the counter poaching teams who are in the bush at this very moment. Unitrans Volkswagen has shown the true commitment of a patriotic company which is dedicated to look after one of our country’s most iconic animals and a valuable conservation resource” says Louis Lemmer, Chairperson of the National Executive Committee, SANParks Honorary Rangers.

Divisional Chief Executive of Unitrans Volkswagen, Kevin Gillmer confirmed the sustained commitment to ensuring that the field rangers on the ground have the skills and equipment to allow them to continue their fight against Rhino poaching. “Unitrans Volkswagen, through the Unite against Poaching fund are honoured to have been able to contribute to the fight against rhino poaching, within South African National Parks (SANParks). Together with the SANParks Honorary Rangers we will continue to empower the dedicated field rangers in the protection of our rhinos.”

SANParks has called on corporates and individuals for extra support for the Honorary Rangers' counter poaching effort in order to assist its rangers in the field. The partnership with Unitrans Volkswagen is a great example of what can be done. Through the sale of vehicles by the ten Unitrans Volkswagen dealerships across the country, the company is able to sustain its support and make a major contribution in the counter poaching war.

SANParks Acting CEO, Abe Sibiya acknowledged and appreciated the re-affirmation of the partnership with Unitrans. “Unitrans Volkswagen is setting a good example of what other corporate citizens should be doing in securing the future of parks. We are truly indebted for Unitrans’ generosity and putting their money where their mouth is. Thanks again to Unitrans VW”.

“The time is now for everyone to Unite Against Poaching and help ensure this precious heritage for our children’s children,” concluded Sibiya. For more information visit www.uniteagainstpoaching.co.za

(From left to right) Glenn Phillips, SANParks Managing Executive: Tourism Development and Marketing; Kevin Gillmer, Divisional Chief Executive of Unitrans Volkswagen and Louis Lemmer, Chairperson of the National Executive Committee, SANParks Honorary Rangers at the signing of the new sponsorship agreement.

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558 rhinos killed already in 2014
 
1004 Rhino lost forever in 2013
 
Funds raised so far since September 2011...
R 6 977 450

 

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