25 February 2013

South Africa: North West Priority Committee to Save the Rhino

press release

The North West province has established a Rhino Priority Committee in an effort to intensify the fight against the scourge of rhino poaching which claimed 77 rhinos last year as compared to the 21 Rhinos of 2011 and 57 of 2010.

Premier Thandi Modise reported that the province has lost 11 rhinos to poaching since the beginning of this year. In her report on rhino poaching in her State of the Province Address delivered on Friday, Premier Modise said that the committee serves to evaluate occurrence of the rhino incidents, plan jointly and give feedback on investigations.

"Rhino poaching is priority crime and therefore treated as a serious crime. We hope to make a breakthrough in combating rhino poaching. Miscreants will undoubtedly be put to book. We will arrest them, charge them, find them guilty and sentence them," emphasised the Premier.

She credited the committee for its active involvement which resulted in 32 arrests that have been made thus far, the latest being the arrest of six poachers who were arrested in the Sandgate farm in Vryburg on Wednesday night.

The committee chaired by the South African Police Services is constituted of various government security agencies and stakeholders such as NPA, Justice, Unions, Traditional Leaders, North West Parks and Tourism Board, Private Rhino Association and the Provincial Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism.

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