Poachers warned: Don't take on army

2011-04-26 22:33

Pretoria - Army groups will be deployed on the Kruger National Park border with Mozambique, and the country's borders with Swaziland and Lesotho this year, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Tuesday.

In all, 22 groups of 165 soldiers each would be deployed on the borders in five phases over the next five years, said Acting Chief of the SANDF Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima.

The first group was deployed on South Africa's border with Zimbabwe last April, he said.

The SANDF was deployed on the country's borders until 1994, when the government instructed the phased withdrawal of troops.

The function of border control was then gradually taken over by the SA Police Service.

However, in February 2010, the ministry of defence mandated the SANDF's return.

Safeguarding the country's borders had become a national priority, said Matanzima, and he warned rhino poachers not to take them on.

"Pulling a gun against a soldier is the last thing they should attempt to do," he said.

Matanzima said the soldiers would be deployed in land, air and maritime domains.

  • Steve Wonderboy - 2011-04-27 00:05

    About freaking time! Only problem why so few soldiers for such a huge area?

      Bob - 2011-04-27 01:02

      that is 3630 soldiers to patrol 2055 km, that means a soldiers every 560m, I think that is quite enough.

      Alfred - 2011-04-28 03:09

      Bob, thats assuming that all of them stand in that line 24 hrs a day, no eating, no sleeping. In 2004 it was estimated that 23% of the SANDF was HIV positive and an even higher percentage were obese. Personally I have absolutely no faith in our military and I wouldn't be surprised if we hear about a group of soldiers braaing up a rhino sometime soon.

      spetsnazss - 2011-04-28 06:52

      hmm thats quite a lot ! do the maths !

  • Francis - 2011-04-27 00:12

    Kill the poachers, its the only solution. Then also find the buyers and kill them as well. Kill the whole bloody lot

      John Wilderness - 2011-04-27 02:44


      Marc - 2011-04-27 10:36

      Couldn't agree more Francis. Do it as a matter of course. No ifs and buts. Nothing quite as effective as a 7.62 facelift for achieving a permanent change of values - and career for that matter.

  • Marcell - 2011-04-27 03:43

    Now the poaching is going to start. Watch this space.

      Gatvol - 2011-04-27 04:18

      Maybe the poachers are suicidal.

      KPActivities - 2011-04-27 07:38

      I attend to agree, maybe not on Rhino or Elephant because the groups is to big to make a profit, smaller game, whats nicer than an Impala or Kudu on bush-veld wood.

  • - 2011-04-27 06:26

    bob 22 groups divided over 5 yrs = just over 2 roups per year = 350 troops per covering three borders. more than enough lol - 2011-04-27 06:27

      per year

      Sizwe - 2011-04-27 10:57

      @Explore. Your Arithmetic is failing you: 22 divided by 5 is just over 4 groups thus it will equal 660. However the key word is "phase-in" thus a structured change which will accrue over a given time period, nowhere did they say they will limit the operation to a five year period...

  • onetickie - 2011-04-27 07:05

    Have no faith in the army to date so lets hope they can restore their image and credibility.

  • WhyLikeThis - 2011-04-27 07:15

    "Pulling a gun against a soldier is the last thing they should attempt to do." I would normally agree, but when you talk our army, a windbuks would have them running, or maybe they will go on strike, as the enemy is shooting at them.

      freedom - 2011-04-27 08:17

      or request danger pay

  • Waarheid - 2011-04-27 08:21

    Do we have have a army?

      Sizwe - 2011-04-27 10:59

      Go ask the UN and the people of Burundi, then you will realise how misinformed you are...

  • Rapier - 2011-04-27 08:28

    Well....this is what one could call a "strike" force :-)

  • Wit_Boer - 2011-04-27 08:46

    Authorized to use deadly force. Now that is like music to my ears.

  • umlaut - 2011-04-27 09:17

    Good for Matanzima--It has reached the stage where the lives of visitors to the KNP were possibly in danger because poachers could do anything in the process of killing rhinos. If visitors came in the way they could be shot or hi-jacked. It would take just one overseas visitor to be killed to jeopardize the tourist attraction of the relatively safe KNP. (Or other parks) The problem still lies with the rhino horn market-- we must ridicule the belief that rhino horn can help you with your sex life, its the same as chewing your partners toe nails when using it. Investigators found that some of the "horn" pieces sold, are actually buffalo horn (it will give a twist in the tale, some users will find to their jolly surprise ....) When they have wiped out all the rhino, what are they going to do---? no more sex lives??? One can only describe the users as total idiots to believe in something so stupid even if it is tradition. We must get cartoonists to joke everyday with the idiots or short movies must be made as advertisements to counter the killings and even video posts on the web can be placed and the best one every month can get a prize awarded by wild life organizations (or Bill Gates)

  • BigMoose - 2011-04-27 09:21

    Why were the troops withdrawn from the borders in the first place? Another "executive decision" by the inept and incompetent ANC, that's why. Soldiers are meant to protect our borders from outside intruders and police are meant to serve and protect citizens within our borders. No wonder there are so many illegal immigrants in the country.

      Sizwe - 2011-04-27 11:05

      According to the Interim Constitution of 1993, the SA Military could not be deployed internally and that function of maintain law and order was a preserve for the then SAP. It would have caused a legal nightmare for a civilian to be killed by the Army around the border hence the decision to remove them. Of course one has to note political considerations, what ever these where, no-one knows but the legal issue was the main consideration.

  • umlaut - 2011-04-27 09:24

    On second thoughts ---- won't our army actually shoot the rhinos themselves for the "normal corruption game" as to give themselves a pay rise. Maybe this will hasten the demise of our horny friends.

  • Lennox - 2011-04-27 09:32

    Its only right that they use the SANDF to protect our national asset,the Kruger park, as the income generated is enormous, but visitors would like to see rhinos with their horns still attached. Paul Kruger must surely be turning is his grave at the thought of a war being fought in the park but thank goodness he had the vision to set aside this piece of land for us to enjoy our wildlife.

  • resiststance - 2011-04-27 09:33

    ANC road map to success: 1) Remove sensible policies of previous government. 2) Wait 17 years 3) Re-implement the same policy pretending it was your idea and not acknowledging the mistake of removing the original policy in the first place 4) ?????? 5) Profit

      tryanything - 2011-04-27 09:41


  • umlaut - 2011-04-27 09:53

    On the second second thought---Yes they will actually kill the rhinos off quicker--- they have free guns- free bullets- free transport- free surveillance systems- no prosecution,- free aeroplanes to fly the horns out--yes all the right connections for a complete wipe out, and the last 2000 rhinos will be dead in no time.

      Fred - 2011-04-27 10:53

      not the first time the SA government willuse the army for their private hunting expedition, "Dik Pik" would regularly go hunting using military helicopters and rifles.

      cerveza - 2011-04-27 11:19

      @umlaut - take a look at who has been involved in and arrested for rhino poaching syndicates, it is the game farmers and the veterinarians that live in the area. You can go to almost any small town pub in rhino rich areas and ask the game farmers gathered at their watering hole what their opinion is on rhino horn trading and the majority will tell you they want it legal. Sadly these people see the rhinos as nothing more than a commodity, like a chicken farmer sees his chickens. And they know a dead rhino is worth more than a living one. So the sad truth about the whole situation is that rhinos must be protected against the very people that we assume are trying to protect them on their farms

  • umlaut - 2011-04-27 10:05

    On the third second thought--Oh goodness it means more bullets are going to fly around the parks--so the lives of visitors will be in danger even more !!!.

  • umlaut - 2011-04-27 10:13

    On the fourth second thought--maybe the army is not a good idea. Let the poachers wipe out the rhino and then they will go elsewhere. The rangers can deal with the normal poachers after that.

      cavan.warren - 2011-05-05 08:45

      What a load of crap!

  • nic - 2011-04-27 10:15

    Shoot to kill

  • The Unknown - 2011-04-27 10:23

    The SANDF is a joke anyway, so how will they help? I tell you, they will be in cahoots with the poachers, and when caught, will go on strike

  • Fred - 2011-04-27 10:43

    A similar article was in the newspaper about a month ago, troops to be deployed in KNP to help with rhino poaching, since then at least 3 rhino have been killed in KNP and no arrests made, make you wonder who the poachers are?

      Darter - 2011-04-27 11:17

      WRONG....4 poachers from Mozambique were arrested by the SANDF about two weeks ago. They were in possession of a rifle, binoculars and an axe. Google it...

  • Wayne - 2011-04-27 17:14

    How long before these MK cadres are taking bribes, raping illegal immigrants and shooting one another..

      BetonBoer - 2011-04-28 09:42

      Will that be such a bad thing? It may just alleviate the problems we have with illegal immigrants and MK...

  • sharsal55 - 2011-05-01 23:30

    If we don't protect the animals soon there will be none left!

  • Rosi - 2011-05-02 02:37

    This is brilliant! Great way of protecting and supporting the animals. Rosi Caswell Animal Whisperer

  • cavan.warren - 2011-05-05 08:42

    I think if the SA defense force is going to patrol sensitive area's we should encourage them to do so. I don't think negative statements help. 140 rhino's lost since the beginning of the year, that is frightening. There will be incidences with the troops but ways and means to make them answerable have to be implemented. The courts must play ball and increase sentences 100 fold. The guys doing the hard 24 hour work on the ground must see the results of their labors with poachers being locked up for a long, long time. it's time for zero tolerance. Groenewald would be a good starting point!

  • Prisilla - 2011-05-20 14:02

    Don't warn them, just shoot them!!

  • Gideon - 2012-04-05 11:16


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