DHL to deliver fake leopard skins to Shembe

2013-11-13 14:24

((AFP))

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – A South African courier company will aid the distribution of fake leopard skins to stem the use of real skins in Shembe ceremonies.

DHL has partnered with US NGO Panthera to ship fake skins from manufacturers in China to South Africa under a pro bono contract that extends to May 2015.

“We are providing our logistics expertise and raising awareness of a complex issue through our own network and resources,” said Charles Brewer, managing director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa.

Over five million members form part of the Shembe church who wear leopard fur, or amambatha, as its customary ceremonial attire. A growing number of male Shembe followers now desire the skins.

Skins are traditionally passed down from generation to generation, but many new ones are the product of poaching.

According to Panthera President, Luke Hunter, the Shember community has welcomed the faux skins.

“To date 2 000 faux leopard amambatha or traditional shoulder capes have been shipped by DHL for our project,” he said, “the Shembe have shown they are willing to embrace the use of our high quality alternatives to real leopard skin”.

Shembe elder, Lizwi Ncwane, said “I have seen firsthand how receptive my community is to using these fake skins. Not only do they look and feel like real leopard skins, they also last longer”.

The IUCN has listed the African leopard as near threatened but Leopard Conservation Project CEO, Fred Berrange, says they are endangered according to the project’s independent research.

“The scary thing is that nobody knows how many leopards there are, one cannot even thumb suck,” he told News24.

Berrange said the main threats are poaching for skin, bones, trophies, and illegal hunting for financial gain.

Follow Dane on Twitter

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
2 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.