SA, Mozambique to discuss rhinos


13 June 2013

Rhino poaching is expected to top the agenda when Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa meets with Mozambican Minister of Tourism Carvalho Muaria in Maputo on Friday.

The talks between the two comes as the number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has risen to 408.

Environmental Affairs spokesperson Albie Modise said in a statement on Wednesday that the meeting between the two ministers was expected to focus on the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area which was established in 2002, “with an emphasis on the scourge of rhino poaching presently affecting South Africa”.

Modise said of all the rhino poached since the beginning of the year, the most came from the Kruger National Park, where the number of rhino poached has gone up to 265.

He also said that the number of people who have been arrested for rhino poaching in Kruger had risen to 56.

“Three suspected poachers were arrested in the Pretoriuskop region [on Tuesday] following an intelligence-driven operation by the SA Police Service, South African National Parks rangers and the park’s environmental crimes investigation unit,” Modise said.

“The group were allegedly involved in five poaching incidents in the Pretoriuskop region, as well as several armed robberies in Hazyview, Mpumalanga.

“The number of people arrested on rhino poaching-related charges countrywide totals 121. A total of 27 alleged poachers have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, 21 in Limpopo, 8 in North West, 6 in Mpumalanga and 3 in Gauteng. Of these, five are alleged couriers.”

Modise called on South Africans to report incidents of poaching or to tip off the authorities through the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.