SANParks officials held for rhino poaching
Johannesburg - Four SA National Parks
(SANParks) officials have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching,
SANParks said on Wednesday.
The four officials were arrested on Tuesday
afternoon after two rhino were found killed in the Kruger National Park (KNP)
earlier that morning, SANParks spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa said in a
"The animals had been shot and their
horns removed. Further investigations into the killing of the two rhino and
possibly other rhino poaching incidents in the area are currently being
conducted," she said.
All four officials were stationed in the
Pretoriuskop section of the park where 11 rhino have been killed since the
beginning of the year.
One of the officials was a field ranger
involved in the ongoing strike at the park.
Another was a traffic officer connected to
the protection services unit - the second traffic officer arrested in
connection with rhino poaching.
Tuesday's discovery brought the total number
of rhino killed in the park since January 1 to 43 and nationwide to 80.
Fifty people had been arrested in connection
with poaching since the start of the year, said Mkutshulwa
"I am personally saddened to discover
that some of our own would so callously abuse the confidence and faith that we
have entrusted upon them," said SANParks chief executive David Mabunda.
KNP spokesperson Gabrielle Venter said in a
statement on Friday that a joint meeting between park officials and union
representatives would take place on Wednesday in an attempt to resolve the
This was "to consider the extent of
salary disparities, where identified, and recommend measures to be implemented
to ensure salary parity", she said.