Ezemvelo boss hits back at criticism

2012-10-12 00:00

THE CEO of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Dr Bandile Mkhize, said conservation stakeholders and interested parties should take an honest look at themselves before making “opportunistic and largely unsubstantiated allegations” against his organisation.

His comments come in the wake of ongoing criticism of Ezemvelo’s financial management and for its inability to stop rhino poaching in the province.

Mkhize called on non-government conservation organisations to “stop carping” and get behind his pioneering call to trade rhino horn on the open market, in a bid to lower its price and quell the poaching.

“This is going to be a long and bitter struggle, and I need all the support I can get,” he said.

Speaking of criticism emerging from the recent poaching of seven rhinos at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Mkhize said: “I’m dismayed by the poor insight that underwrites much of this criticism. It suggests a bias that, above all else, ignores the huge community and environmental responsibilities of modern-day conservation.”

He said it is “damning” to see people attacking Ezemvelo when South Africa’s rhino populations are being targeted by some of the most sophisticated and highly financed syndicates experienced in conservation history.

In 2011, KZN had the lowest annual poaching rate (0,9% of its rhino population) of all provinces.

Up to early last month, Ezemvelo had lost some 32 rhino throughout its nine rhino reserves from January this year.

“We have actually grown our total population of rhino by 81 from 2011 to 2012, so their natural growth rate is still keeping up with poaching pressure,” said Mkhize.

The preliminary field report on investigations into the recent poaching incident at Hluhluwe is now complete and the core findings will soon be made public, he said.

“First impressions show a small breach in the chain of command at Hluhluwe. Sadly, it only takes one or two people to be induced by these huge riches, or one area of neglect of supervision, and you suffer this dramatic consequence.”

Mkhize rejected calls for Ezemvelo to institute an independent investigation, saying this ignored the professionalism within the organisation.

“In this climate of overall mistrust and suspicion, who exactly qualifies to undertake such an investigation?” he asked.

Mkhize had decided that Ezemvelo’s internal investigation would be scrutinised by independent conservation specialists. “We are hiding absolutely nothing and whatever action needs to be taken, will be,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.