20 November 2012

South Africa: Swift Arrest of Rhino Poachers Encouraging-Premier Thandi Modise

press release

The swift arrest of three men for rhino poaching in Brits is encouraging and attest that with support of communities, the war against crime and scourge of rhino poaching is winnable, North West Premier Thandi Modise said on Tuesday.

"We commend members of the public who provided the police with information that led to the breakthrough in their investigations. That a game ranger was among those arrested is disappointing and shameful and calls for police to widen their net and not to leave any stone unturned. The cruelty and brutality against the rhino as symbol of our ecology and rich heritage has gone too far and all involved in this evil trade should feel the full wrath of the law," stressed Premier Modise.

Although no horns were found in the men's residences, police said that they are linking the three suspects arrested at their homes in Lethabong township to the poaching of eight rhinos in Klipkopspruit farm over the weekend. Seven rhinos were found dead and another one was found on Monday.

The men, aged between 47 and 59, would appear in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of rhino poaching.

Modise had on Monday said that the provincial government is considering requesting the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist it to overcome the scourge of rhino poaching.

She had also said that there is a need to clamp down on issuing of illegal hunting permits as part of intensifying law enforcement and crime intelligence to overcome the scourge of rhino poaching.

Issued by: North West Provincial Government

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