Mission accomplished: Long walk for rhinos

2011-07-22 00:00

PAUL Jennings and Sboniso “Spoon” Phakati of the Rights for Rhinos campaign are a day away from completing their epic 2 000 km walk from Musina to Cape Town, which began almost three months ago.

The campaigners have reportedly completed the penultimate leg of the walk — a 12 km stretch from Simonstown to the gate of Cape Point Nature Reserve — in preparation for the grand finale tomorrow.

The two men, who are both from KwaZulu-Natal, have walked from Musina to Cape Town in an attempt to raise awareness about of the scourge of rhino poaching, which has decimated the species in the country.

Their journey has taken in numerous pit-stops in communities and schools in an attempt to educate the communities about the plight of rhinos.

On Monday the two campaigners visited Robben Island as part of the Mandela Day community outreach activities.

They spent 67 minutes with learners who attend the island’s small school.

In a statement Phakathi said, “Just as Mandela walked a long road to freedom, we have walked a long road for conservation”.

Jennings and Phakati said that although there is not much awareness about South Africa’s dwindling rhino population, they were heartened to find that conservation is very much a priority.

The youth have been a major focus, and last week they visited Khayelitsha in Cape Town. More then 40% of the residents are under the age of 19. The campaigners challenged them to take up the struggle for conservation. — WR.

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