The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has welcomed the arrest of 10 alleged rhino poachers in the Kruger National Park yesterday, 23 April 2018.
"While the death of two alleged poachers is regrettable, the arrest of 10 of their alleged accomplices in this multi-agency driven operation is to be commended. This success is an indication of the determination of the rangers and investigators on the ground to halt rhino poaching," said Minister Molewa.
The 10 alleged poachers, including a South African policeman and a former general of the army in one of our neighbouring countries, followed a shootout between rangers, police and the suspects on Monday, 23 April 2018. Two alleged accomplices were shot dead during the shootout. Four fresh rhino horn and five heavy calibre weapons were seized.
"This is a prime example of the successful collaboration between the security forces and SANParks in combating rhino crime," said Dr Molewa.
Minister Molewa pointed out that rhino poaching remains a national priory crime that is being addressed by the Department of Environmental Affairs through the Integrated Strategic Management Approach together with the Departments of Justice, Police, Defence, Correctional Services and State Security, as well as SANParks and the SA Revenue Service.
Among the commitments in the Integrated Strategic Management Approach are compulsory interventions requiring action to end rhino poaching. This includes the management of rhino populations and the institution of an Intensive Protection Zones in conservation areas which allows for the allocation of limited resources to ensure maximum protection in areas of greatest importance.
"It is only through the commitment of those rangers and security officials working on the ground to combat rhino poaching that we are able to record success such as these arrests. The dedication and hard work of these officials cannot go unrecognised," said the Minister.
Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs