Farm manager bust with rhino horns

2012-01-27 07:51

Polokwane - A farm manager arrested for alleged possession of rhino horns, elephant tusks and illegal firearms has appeared in the Naboomspruit Magistrate's Court, Limpopo police said on Friday.

Jan Louis Lessing, 58, was granted R3 000 bail on Thursday, said Colonel Ronel Otto.

Lessing's case was postponed until March 29 for further investigation.

He was arrested on Thursday after he was allegedly found with three rhino horns, four elephant tusks and illegal firearms.

Lessing told police he had found the horns and tusks in a safe on the estate a long time ago.

He allegedly failed to provide permits that allowed him to possess the items and he had not applied for the necessary permits either.

Police would conduct DNA tests to determine the origins of the rhino horns and tusks.

Ballistic tests were also being done on the illegal firearms.

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-27 07:58


      ubhejane - 2012-01-27 08:05

      Bad Place. Send Patricia De Lille in to clean it up. She hates corrupt men.

      Hugh - 2012-01-27 08:16

      At this point we do not know that he is in fact a paocher or related to poaching. The police play up thes 'discoveries' when the truth be known that the guy has had these for years and used to show them to all in sundry. The DNA will tell how fresh these are.

      E=MC2 - 2012-01-27 08:23

      hahaha that pretty much sums it up :)!

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-27 08:30

      I hate to say it, but Xenswim is right. His story is that he found the horn and ivory and did not poach it himself. At this point in time we dont yet know where it came from and as much as we all want this to be a story of a poacher being brought to justice, at this point in time we can only speculate that it might have been from poaching or it might have been taken of dead animals. It might or might not have been done by this person. Police are investigating and as soon as they have answers, they will tell us. But yes, it would be nice to find out that we have nailed a poacher. We'll have to wait and see.

      Janice - 2012-01-27 09:12


      Gungets - 2012-01-27 09:37

      Xenswim, Steph - which part of "illegal firearms" did not ring a bell. If there is a farm manager in Limpopo that claims he did not know about ---> 1. licensing firearms. ---> 2. Permits for carrying rhino horn and elephant tusks. ---> he is LYING. No excuses - LYING. Whether he poached them himself or not, and all the circumstancial evidence seems to point in the direction of him being involved, is moot. He should be jailed for being stupid if nothing else. You seem to know the man, and his habit of "showing them to all and sundry" - you should all have known that immediate reporting of the find to police might well have lead to the person who DID shoot the animals. If it was a legal, permit, hunt, then great. Let's at least know, rather than blowing smoke into a crisis situation.

      OhbiZz - 2012-01-27 09:45

      @ Xenswim1 & Stephanie....I guess you guys would also believe that Rhino poachers would leave their loot in a safe and pass the pin code to the next farm manager and leave him unchecked for a "long time". Now question becomes why did the farm manager not report the contents of the safe to the police? I assume he has heard several times in the media of concerns related to Rhino poaching...what made him think these horns were legit bearing in mind that he discovered them "long ago" and nobody had ever claimed them? WAKE UP!!!!!

      Mfudzi - 2012-01-27 10:39

      its high time universities introduce a bachelors program in corruption. limpopo provincial government is overflowing with lecturers. i'm off to tea!

  • foxiloxi - 2012-01-27 08:02

    Why is he out on bail!! These people should NOT be allowed bail!! Limpopo is a cesspool of greed, corruption and lawlessness!!

      Lyndatjie - 2012-01-27 08:10

      And don't forget that the bail was only set at R3 000.00 DISGUSTING!

      Andries - 2012-01-27 08:12

      Because - I bet you - the police case is so thin on facts that the magistrate had no option. AND the so called illegal firearms? How many times have we read in these reports of such allegations which were simply police allegations w.ith NO substance. If racist muderers can get bail after their 33rd murder and still awaiting the other 32 cases to be heard then this man MUST go free until a prima facie case has been built against him. Do not jump to confusions.

      Siso - 2012-01-27 08:25

      @foxiloxi I agree with you didn't derseve bail and he found those items in the some estate, why didnt he take them to the police instead of keeping them. The man sounds guilty to me.

      Jim - 2012-01-27 08:29

      Cut his horn off.

      Andre - 2012-01-27 08:34

      Bail is determined by many conditions. One aspect is based on what the suspect can pay. Remember, for some people R3000 is really a lot of money. And, he is not guilty yet!

      Gungets - 2012-01-27 09:44

      Andries - you are jumping to some conclusions of your own. And try not to justify everything based on another crime. This is one crime, judge it on it's merits. I have no issues with the bail, the law is not completely stupid all the time, just lets not say that one crime is OK because there is something worse. That will defeat us as a nation.

      OhbiZz - 2012-01-27 09:52

      @ Andries what do you mean the police case is thin on facts? Do you not know that illegal possession of rhino horn and firearms (among many other items) is a crime? FYI the illegality is proved by simply asking the possessor of the item to produce a permit/ licence for the thing. Failure to show the licence is itself a prima facie case of unlawful possession. The above is different from a "racist murderer" being released on bail while 32 murder cases are pending against him: NONE of the murders has been proved as yet (unless he was found with the "horns" of each of his victims, in which case a prima facie case would have been established in each instance)

      dlawre30 - 2012-01-27 10:08

      Posession of Illegal firearms should carry be seen as a more serious crime. Too much of this around. As for the possible involvement in poaching - have to wait and see what the test prove.

      Hugh - 2012-01-27 11:33

      What are illegal firearms the a constable and news media reports and fact are two different animals. I'm thinking of the arms cache's found and bragged by the SAPS ended up being legitimate Air-soft toys with import ans sales permits. Even old ammo boxes were regarded as illegal. The horns are another matter. Well see where this goes.

  • Simon - 2012-01-27 08:11

    If this man is guilty, then he is a traitor!

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-27 08:51

      Like all of his kind

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-27 10:40

      Thats what we preach everyday, i hve always known these ar the people finishing our Rhinos!! Traitor? I wonder what u already dont know @Simon

      StarStruck - 2012-01-27 11:03

      @ Cosmos - you are generalising a whole race group by saying "these people". Don't you have some poor soul to rob at gun point or do you fell safer robbing at night??

  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2012-01-27 08:12

    Yet again Limpopo makes the news for all the wrong reasons. Is there anyone in Limpopo who isn't a corrupt theiving pri*k. This one should be de-horned with a panga like they do to the Rhino's.

      Zee - 2012-01-27 09:33

      agree! dehorned and slowly tortured till he sings like a canary. This madness with the rhinos must stop!!!!!!

  • Grimett - 2012-01-27 08:12

    He found the horns & the tusks in the safe,wonder where he found the guns ? You should have reported them boet,surely you are aware of the law of your country.

  • Hotkop - 2012-01-27 08:13

    Why don't they dehorn the rhinos??

      E=MC2 - 2012-01-27 08:24

      why dont they just kill the poachers?

      Hotkop - 2012-01-27 08:54

      Come on people! I'm asking cause I want to know the pros and cons of dehorning. They clearly can't stop the poachers so isn't dehorning the best option? Atleast the animal will live.

      Zee - 2012-01-27 09:35

      Understand what you are saying, but what is extremely sad is why must the rhinos suffer for human greed???? And that all for nothing, as the horns do not have any medicinal value. It's all about money. Kill all pouchers. leave them covered with honey on an ant heap, let nature deal with them.

      Gungets - 2012-01-27 09:50

      1. It is a constant effort because the horn grows back. ---> 2. It only works when you have dehorned EVERY rhino in the area. Poachers hunt rhino by tracking them. If they find a dehorned rhino they kill it anyway, to make sure they never waste their time tracking it again.

      Garth - 2012-01-27 10:52

      An excerpt from an excellent article in the Business Day. "Dehorning as a solution has also been widely advocated, but all it does is to move poaching from populations that have been dehorned to populations where they have not. Furthermore, it is expensive and has to be done every two years because horn grows at the rate of 0,8kg a year and about 1,2kg is left behind in the stump after cropping. Thus the horn has a total weight of 2,8kg after two years, which is attractive to a poacher. Consider regular dehorning of the Kruger’s population of 10000 rhino. It is not practical, desirable or affordable." Read the article at:

  • Bloody-Agent - 2012-01-27 08:13

    Rhino poachers should be thrown in a enclosure with some angry rhinos for some rhino payback!

  • Herbert - 2012-01-27 08:14

    Limpopo is bad bad bad. Staying here though. If it isn't the government who does it to the people or teachers doing it to pupils; but screwed are we for sure !!!!

      StarStruck - 2012-01-27 08:30

      The ANC won that province by 80% in the previous elections. Limpopo is a glimpse of our future with them and the Western Cape our future with the DA. How I long to live on the west coast.

  • Patrick - 2012-01-27 08:16

    jan lessing, sounds like a afrikaaner

      ubhejane - 2012-01-27 08:20

      Vets, Afrikaners, Africans, Chinese lock them all up!

      Johan - 2012-01-27 08:27

      And your point is?

      hendrik.pretorius5 - 2012-01-27 09:18

      @ patrick - and? @ubhejane - and there are no crooked english speaking BLACK people in SA???

  • Dirk - 2012-01-27 08:16

    Vat so!

  • sandra.inja - 2012-01-27 08:22

    sies........ R3000.....

      christo.stone - 2012-01-27 08:24

      Dis wat ek ook hier stana en dink... R3000 bail...1 horn is worth thousands more...lock him up!

  • Ann - 2012-01-27 08:28

    No bail! Straight to jail!

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-27 08:30

    Teach Lessing a lesson. Anyone found with rhino horn without a permit must face immediate arrest. Good for the cops.

  • Robert - 2012-01-27 08:31

    Hang the basterd

  • Sharon - 2012-01-27 08:48

    Lock him up......wots good for the goose is good for the gander

  • rueon.scott - 2012-01-27 08:52

    liar liar may they set your balls on fire

  • neil.vdbijl - 2012-01-27 08:52

    I hope the investigators do a good job in finding the truth and if he is guilty I hope the magistrate makes an example of him! The only way that we can stand up for those beautiful animals are to treat these cases in the same light as what the eastern countries treats drug traffickers. If you have these illegal item in posession your life gets ended..

  • Casey - 2012-01-27 08:54

    I hope he gets hunted down and beaten... this idiot should die a slow painful death just like the poor Rhinos.

  • thozi - 2012-01-27 08:57

    The farmer has been found with a few horns and guns, so what? Remember, the guy's in Limpopo where every farmer, magistrate, top police brass and a dominee, know each other.

  • Mike - 2012-01-27 08:58

    R 3000 Rand bail? I am not surprised why our Rhino's are butchered each and every day - at US$ 50.000 or R 400.000 for a single horn this is just another judicial joke! Lock the guy up and throw the key away! Bring the army in and shoot to kill anyone who hunts Rhino's - problem solved.

      Petro - 2012-01-27 11:36

      I agree with you Mike. I feel the same about rhino poachers as I do about drug suppliers - in both worlds the end result is death. If I had to come across a drug dealer "killing" young innocent children I personally would shoot the murderer - and I would do the same with a rhino poacher... what is wrong in this flippin country and our judicial system - are they all on drugs or high on rhino horn???? Its amaizing how both those fields - drug dealers and rhino poaching seems to be totally out of control...hmmmmmm I wonder why?

  • markus.botha - 2012-01-27 09:02

    Sny sy horing af!

  • Josh - 2012-01-27 09:06

    Dear News 24. On the Homepage of your Website the first picture of the pics on the right hand site of the page. The Flag being burnt by the aboriginals is an AUSTRALIAN FLAG NOT AN AMERICAN FLAG. You are a news channel and do not know the difference between the Australian and US flag. You should probably fix it....

  • The-Azanian - 2012-01-27 09:10

    i knew it...the greater damage was not coming from chinese and their black mules, infact its those hidious farmers who own game farms.

      Alan - 2012-01-27 09:49

      The poachers, the masterminds, the Chinese users ... the whole bloody lot of them should be in jail. No exceptions.

      christian.helberg - 2012-01-27 10:36

      Did this have to be turned into a race issue??

      Theo - 2012-01-27 11:15

      @OceanH - Unfortunately this seems to be the main reason why some people come here. Some people here are all nice and friendly when they are face to face with someone from another race or religion or cultural background, but here on this forum its all anonymous. Here, everyone can say just what they want and noone will be able to do a thing about it (nothing serious at least).

  • Lesiba Matjila - 2012-01-27 09:14

    Y give him a bail while we saying we fighting Rhino poaching...??he must reveal who works for him

  • frans.grobler3 - 2012-01-27 09:17

    Poachers balls is a cure to HIV/Aids - Spread the word

      richard.galpin - 2012-01-27 09:31

      Brilliant, why did't I think of that. Please spread the word. What estate in Naboomspruit, since Some Naboomspruit estates have been widely reported about their Rhino's being poached these last 2 years. The whole thing sounds fishy from magistrate right down to Lessing, as edidenced by the size of the fine in relation to the damage done to RSA Rhino from their monetry value to their probable extinction.

  • Gail - 2012-01-27 09:22

    He better have a good excuse. These swines are killing off South Africa's national heritage. To me it's the same as treason. And it's all about greed.

      Mfudzi - 2012-01-27 10:35

      he's already made an excuse tha he found these things in a safe and i dont think it's convincing enough. he's in for a high jump. question is, "why did he not surrender the illegal find to the authorities?"whose safe was it anyway?

  • Greg - 2012-01-27 09:27

    How about innocent until proven guilty....

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-27 09:29

      As guilty as charged

      thozi - 2012-01-27 10:03

      @Greg Who, the Rhino or Lessing?

  • OhbiZz - 2012-01-27 09:38

    Jeez man! I wonder how such people feel when the whole country is thrown into a rage about the poaching of rhinos etc. Found em in a safe long ago? Bull crap!!! Bail is set at a mere R3K.....I thought GVT was supposed to be taking serious efforts to stop this nonsense

  • Diran - 2012-01-27 09:50

    We all will be surprised to know how many South African homes got tusk and Rhino Horn mounted on the walls.Humans are so evil,selfish and dangerous.

  • chantelebrown - 2012-01-27 10:06


  • Mfudzi - 2012-01-27 10:30

    is this guy an intelligent man?his line of defence is no better than donovan moodley's present efforts

  • Desmond - 2012-01-27 10:32

    Now i am very disappointed. I thought it was only Malema and his corrupt mob that comes from Limpopo but now i see otherwise

  • Margaux - 2012-01-27 10:34

    If he found them, why didnt he hand them over immediately??

  • Phumi - 2012-01-27 10:37

    This should justify the rhinos to sing 'dubul ibhunu' and shout for land expropriation without compensation to any farmer guilty of these crimes!

  • Rob - 2012-01-27 10:39

    Lessing's claim of finding the items a long time ago may or may not be the truth. Either way it doesn't change the fact that they were in his possession. We cannot tell from the article, but it implies that he didn't have them legally. I don't understand how that all creatws a defence....Does it? Then, R3,000 bail....NOW WE CAN SEE WHY THIS IS OUT OF CONTROL. Bail should ensure that the suspect does not disappear, what a joke!

  • Vaugh6809 - 2012-01-27 10:58

    He is in possession of rhino horn without a permit! That is against the law, he should know better due to the job he does. Off to jail you go Lessing. Why such a small bail? We need to come down hard and make a statement.

  • jack.kukard - 2012-01-27 11:42

    Cut off his weaner , let him bleed to death ....scum

  • Ambi - 2012-01-27 11:57

    Shove that rhino horn where the sun don't shine!!! Moron

  • Mesulie Vince' Ntombela - 2012-01-27 12:17

    "For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all." Luke 8:17...

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