'Bloody' rhino horn was a branch, Hawks say

2012-03-01 18:14

Johannesburg - What appeared to be rhino horn found by police in Bedfordview, Johannesburg on Thursday turned out to be fake, the Hawks said.

"It was cut from a tree and we are questioning the suspects to find out what they were actually up to," spokesperson McIntosh Polela said.

"One of them was wearing a SA National Parks [SANParks] uniform, so we are working with them to determine if he is employed by them."

On Thursday morning, police arrested the four people after their car crashed into another car on the N3. Afterwards, the driver of the other car saw them hiding a cooler bag under a nearby tree.

When police went to look they found the "rhino horn" in the cooler bag. It was "still bleeding", a police spokesperson said earlier.

However, Polela said later: "It is fake."

Meanwhile, on Thursday four SANParks officials appeared in the White River Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga for rhino poaching and defeating the ends of justice.

The case against them was postponed to March 8 for a formal bail application, Polela said.

The four were arrested on Tuesday afternoon after a rhino cow and her calf were found shot and dehorned in the Kruger National Park earlier that morning.

All four officials were stationed in the Pretoriuskop section of the park, where 11 rhino had been killed since the beginning of the year.

Tuesday's discovery brought the total number of rhino killed in the park since January 1 to 43, and nationwide to 80.

  • Jack - 2012-03-01 18:33

    Thank God, McIntosh Polela is on the case, have full faith in the man.

      Godfrey - 2012-03-01 21:55

      What do you meen "on the case" he is only a spokesperson (spin doctor)

      Janice - 2012-03-02 07:13

      Im still confused, how does a branch "bleed"??? Blood I mean...???

      Jimmy - 2012-03-02 11:49

      Here ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of the difference between the Scorpions (an elite uncorrupted crime fighting unit - independent of the ANC) and the Hawks (a bunch of criminals dressed up as crime fighters run by the ANC). It was a branch???? Are you f#cking kidding me!!!!! Jeez I hate these bastards!!!!

      Mfudzi - 2012-03-05 15:19

      Jack, do you know who McInosh Polela is in the first place? If you don't know, just listen. Colonel Polela is not a hands-on policeman. by chance, he may not even had field experience, meaning from college straight to spokesperson or some such. the only faith we can possibly have is on the force itself, not an individual.

  • Mike - 2012-03-01 18:38

    OK, so the authorities made a mistake! A "bleeding branch" vs a "rhino horn"? Now who should I believe? Or end of the Hawks trust???

      Scebberish - 2012-03-02 03:28

      Dont blame the Hawks, they would have passed it on to some Parks person for verification, where the switch was then made!

      patricmthombeni - 2012-03-05 10:23

      Yes, trees do bleed, lot of blood! it was a rhino tree, found in kruger. These tree have four legs, latin name, ceratotherium s, simum.

  • Grant - 2012-03-01 18:42

    Like somebody would keep a fake rhino horn in a cooler box...and then hide it. Methinks somebody accepted a nice little bribe to change his story...

  • Chris - 2012-03-01 18:46

    Bribery on the highest level????

      Mfudzi - 2012-03-05 15:23

      why not just join the police force and stop this sckepticism?

  • jandreleroux - 2012-03-01 19:00

    A few years the police had the whole of Pretoria in a stir because a cut of finger was found somewhere. Where was the body? Whaere was the bleeding dude? What happened etc. It turned out to be a pig's tail.

  • Jacques - 2012-03-01 19:05

    It to the hawks to figure this out. There is no hope if SAPS mistakes a branch for a horn. I should sell some quarts crystal as diamonds to the SAPS

      Scebberish - 2012-03-02 03:33

      Good business would be sugar as industrial diamonds, imagine the possibilities! Sugar coated drill bits...............

  • Wayne - 2012-03-01 19:15

    Nice one lads. Rhino 101 next.

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-03-01 19:15

    Someone was paid to reverse the original diagnosis? I smell a very expensive rat here!

      Mfudzi - 2012-03-05 15:26

      also do not discount the possibility of something being terribly wrong with your sense of smell!

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-03-01 19:27

    I smell a dead rat in this saga.

      Jonathan - 2012-03-01 20:57

      No a dead Rhino!!!

  • Settie Zuweni - 2012-03-01 19:28

    Bribery can be the case or possibility of 2 horns. The real one was still in the car when the police arrested the man . Good disguise!!!

  • Orapeleng Molosiwa - 2012-03-01 19:35


  • Sam - 2012-03-01 19:41

    Seems like they were scammed into buying a fake rhino horn.

      John - 2012-03-01 23:10

      no sam they where about to scam someone into buying it. parks uniform fake horn you dunces getting the picture huh ??

  • Bandile - 2012-03-01 19:47

    Only in Africa can a bleeding animal part in a cooler box hidden under a tree and officially declared to to be such an animal part by officialdom later turn out to be part of a tree. Bleeding nogal. Officially. There is no hope.

  • Diaan - 2012-03-01 20:34

    From previous reports we know that the majority of the police force is illiterate . They allow deranged members to carry guns . Their General cant read contracts They do not have vehicles to go to crime scenes . My question is . Do these clowns know how to put the blue funny suit they wear the right way on and do they know the difference between their ass and their elbow ???

      Mfudzi - 2012-03-05 15:33

      ....and yet the very same deranged officers attained the same democracy where you rest your ass right now. you unrepentant goons want nothing less than dear old uncle giving you the marching orders

  • Tim - 2012-03-01 20:49

    There is something not right here. What was thought to be a rhino horn turns out to be a tree yet it was 'bloody'... Seems like someone was paid off, again.

  • Jonathan - 2012-03-01 20:52

    Did they all attend night classes at STUPID SCHOOL? How does one confuse a bleeding Rhino horn with a "bleeding" branch from a tree.

  • Rick - 2012-03-01 22:51

    Looks like the police and their spokesmen cannot see the wood from the trees :-)

  • Scebberish - 2012-03-02 03:29

    Dont blame the Hawks, they would have passed it on to some Parks person for verification, where the switch was then made!

  • Karena - 2012-03-02 07:52

    KILLLLLLLLLLL ALL THESE A HOLESSSSSSSSSSS REALLY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ANY one can tell me how we can help stop them please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gaynor - 2012-03-02 08:01

    This is rubbish, I am sick of all the covering up and changing stories coming out of the news and the police, like the time it was reported a bomb was in Eastgate and then we were told it was only a box of tools. What utter crap, what corruption is happening now that one story gets released and then all of a sudden it isn't true? The credibility of the police and of News 24 and other news agencies is nothing in my mind now. Either the police must make sure of their stories before releasing, or the news agencies must or there is some more lying and covering up going on. We are not fools. Get the thing right, if I made this many mistakes in my work, I would lose clients. Are the police incompetent, that they can't tell the difference between a real bomb and a fake one and a real rhino horn and a fake one?

  • Hugh - 2012-03-02 10:34

    Acacius Bicornis

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