Prof caught for 'green crime'

Oudtshoorn - A Cape Town-based "green crime unit" has arrested a Japanese professor for stealing more than 550 protected succulent plants, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Masahiko Hayashi, 56, was fined R75 000 by a regional court in Oudtshoorn, about 400km east of Cape Town, Johannesburg-based The Star newspaper reported.

"He was definitely on a collection trip and it was well planned. He had detailed topographical maps and had highlighted the farms where some of these succulents grow," said Pail Gildenhuys from the "green crime unit" of Cape Nature Conservation.

Gildenhuys said he had searched the professor's hotel room in Oudtshoorn last week and found 564 protected plants.

SAPA news agency reported that the plants were from the Haworthia genus, much sought-after in Japan where it has become a collector's item.

It said Hayashi was a recognised authority on Haworthias, and contributed to "Haworthiad" magazine, the quarterly journal of the international Haworthia society.

Haworthias are relatively small, often spiky-leafed plants, and come in a number of shapes and markings. They grow in the wild almost exclusively in South Africa.

Hayashi entered into a plea bargain with the state, and was fined and had his Global Positioning System equipment and the succulents confiscated.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
With Faf de Klerk out injured, who should start at scrumhalf for the Springboks against Wales on 6 November?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Herschel Jantjies
38% - 9 votes
Cobus Reinach
58% - 14 votes
Grant Williams
4% - 1 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.81
+0.4%
Rand - Pound
20.41
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.27
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.11
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.2%
Gold
1,800.01
+0.4%
Silver
24.38
+0.2%
Palladium
2,059.50
+1.8%
Platinum
1,042.36
-0.1%
Brent Crude
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,580
+0.0%
All Share
67,172
+0.0%
Resource 10
63,244
+0.2%
Industrial 25
86,436
-0.4%
Financial 15
13,915
+1.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE