Rhino horns disappear from police custody

2013-03-06 11:05

Johannesburg - A set of rhino horns has disappeared from the Assen police station outside Brits, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

The horns, one of two sets held at the police station since November, were confiscated after rhino poachers dehorned eight rhino at the Klipkopspruit private reserve near Sun City, in North West.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said on Tuesday a theft docket had been opened.

"It is not clear how the horns disappeared, because there were no burglaries at the station."

The only people with access to the storeroom were police officers who had the key, he said.

Klipkopspruit's owner Miles Lappeman told Beeld he learned of the disappearance of the horns on Friday.

According to the newspaper, he received a letter from the department of environmental affairs two weeks ago asking him to remove the horns from the police station and asking for the address where they would be stored.

Lappeman said he had not been prepared to fetch the horns, as by supplying his address he would render himself and his family a crime target.

  • Gary Young - 2013-03-06 11:15

    we know the police ! draggng a man behind a bakkie is just one example of their many crimes! surprised????

      janice.mcmaster.92 - 2013-03-06 11:28

      SA AGAIN................

      James Bone - 2013-03-06 11:37

      HA HA HA HA .... its the SAPS .... did they think things would be there .... it has been sold already, so just watch for a cop in a flashy car ..... SAPS is a joke !!!!!!!!!

      Tim - 2013-03-06 11:41

      Captain Paul Ramaloko said: "It is not clear how the horns disappeared, because there were no burglaries at the station. The only people with access to the storeroom were police officers who had the key" I wouldnt say "its not clear", because its clearly a cop.

      jbooyse - 2013-03-06 11:46

      Now why am I not in the least surprised... Playing "Cops and Robbers" again...

      Crabclaw - 2013-03-06 13:28

      Yes, playing with themselves. So the whole force is a j@rk off.

      amanda.vandenberg.758 - 2013-03-06 14:30

      Look at the corruption coming from the government officials, Follow the leaders !

      karen.glautier - 2013-03-06 16:28

      I'm sorry I couldn't get past the headline of this article, ............

  • Peter Ndamase - 2013-03-06 11:15

    It is becoming harder to differentiate between a Police officer and a criminal... They have no respect for the uniform they wear.

      gary.bloom.967 - 2013-03-06 11:33

      and we have got to love the media for milking as much publicity as they can get after the incident with the Mozambique taxi driver...........not all cops are bad. Most are, but not all.

      singatha.jongihlati - 2013-03-06 13:12

      @gary.bloom.967 "Most are," is what scares the bejeezus out of ordinary folk.

      Tony Baxter - 2013-03-06 14:06

      Yes Gary, I did hear of a cop who wasn't totally bad. Just can't remember his name though!

      John Smith - 2013-03-06 17:17

      I know a few good cops! That's the problem!

  • anna.turner.9237 - 2013-03-06 11:19

    Now I wonder.......??? do you think someone at the Police took it??? never!!

  • Hemlock - 2013-03-06 11:22

    Unclear.....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! I think some cops have just bought themselves nice new cars with the cash they were paid for the horns!

  • Tanya Booysen - 2013-03-06 11:23

    Corruption it did not disappear it was stolen,and we wonder why poachers continue to thrive and rob our country

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-03-06 11:23

    Mmm....disappeared? Why invoke supernatural causes? Why not say 'Moved' or 'Taken from'? The stuff of unaccountability at all levels including journalism. Here is an appropriate line or two from Tom Wolfe's Ï am Charlotte Simmons. "They’re all busy fighting smoke. Everybody seems to think that if the smoke is gone, there’s no more fire. And you wanna know why nobody tries to extinguish the fire? Nobody’s supposed to see the fire nomore".

  • johan.mostert.967 - 2013-03-06 11:24

    Some cop guaranteed him/herself a good Christmas bonus!

      Hemlock - 2013-03-06 11:32

      This is his/her Easter bonus......he/she will steal something else for a Christmas bonus ;o)

  • ohbizz.chabata - 2013-03-06 11:29

    oh boy! Bad idea to expect the police to safely store the horns. As for Lapperman, why does s(he) say s(he) couldn't provide his address because he would make himself a crime target? The department of environmental affairs only asked that the horns be moved from the police and that it be stated where they would be housed. Why does Laperman think he was expected to take the horns to his house? Also, wouldn't he disclose the (his) address only to the environmental affairs guys? I don't see how s(he) would have been a crime target because of this. Obviously his police mates already know where he lives anyway. Something smells really really fishy around here

  • Peter Nyamaropa - 2013-03-06 11:35

    inside job.

  • jaco.skalkwyk.3 - 2013-03-06 11:38

    Check who sent the letter...thats the guy that took the horns.

  • Mis Poshm - 2013-03-06 11:40

    I say the Lapperman knows exactly what happened to the rhino horns.

  • Don Tandy - 2013-03-06 11:41

    Ho-hum - just another example of the standard (or lack thereof) of policing in SA. As the saying goes - "SAPS are amongst the quickest in the world onto a crime scene - usually just before the crime happens".

  • nawhal.majietarmien - 2013-03-06 11:43

    cant the ANC see that since they took over the country is slowly disentergrating

      jackie.m.dickson - 2013-03-06 14:39

      Nope ANC cant notice because they are too busy either spending the money they stole or making plans on stealing more. Oh and sometimes sleeping in Parliament. TRASH

  • Maremene Levis - 2013-03-06 11:44

    its a sure case police officials treated themselves with the majestic horns...i have lost faith

  • Melvin Palmer - 2013-03-06 11:45

    One day the whole station will disappear...from the block....leaving only puzzled police officers...with the building gone....stolen by something

  • - 2013-03-06 11:45

    If only the police themselves could go missing, we would be much safer in SA

  • Daryl Jackson - 2013-03-06 11:47


  • Zaakirinho - 2013-03-06 11:48

    Soon the docket will be missing from the Hawks office. Corruption is a disease, sadly there doesn't seem to be a cure for it in South Africa.

  • Ken Amery - 2013-03-06 11:50

    Maybe it was Malema,s ghost

  • Sattva Scrabbler - 2013-03-06 11:50

    One or some of the cops are obviously trying to sell them on the black market! the only way we can solve this problem of corruption and incompetence is by PRIVATIZING the police force - the police force should not have to report to and get orders from government, and can not be asked to hush things up after the fact.

  • Ellakita - 2013-03-06 12:04

    Cops again

  • magebs.cweba - 2013-03-06 12:11

    i wash my hands... SAPS... nc nc nc nc nc

  • Nizole Middle-Finger Khala - 2013-03-06 12:11

    Cops knows where are they or pull them with the police van so that they can talk the truth!!

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2013-03-06 12:12

    The Corruption just goes on and ANYTHING safe in a police station???? 18 guns stolen from police station

  • gladness - 2013-03-06 12:13

    Such honest police - no doubt black like us.

  • zelda.matthews - 2013-03-06 12:19

    Inside job thats for sure! Cut off weeners and sell that on the black market!!!

  • eidel.bock - 2013-03-06 12:35

    Would never have guessed the person(s) with the keys could be a suspect....Who was so clever to work that one out! Remember not to contaminate the crime scene

  • sue.viljoen.7 - 2013-03-06 12:40

    Police are always the first on the crime scene, because they commit the crimes

      Crabclaw - 2013-03-06 12:52

      Out of uniform, and then when the uniforms come and collect them it's probably all one big happy family sharing the spoils. Or the suspect is still at large.....

  • Dazza22 - 2013-03-06 12:43

    Guns and rhino horn? FFS!!!!!!!!!!

  • muke.matshaba - 2013-03-06 12:56

    Where is the respect of the law as things r getting out of hand on a daily basis? Let the government pay this cops enough money so that they could think twice before they would still and lose their respective paying jobs.

  • lioneldelange - 2013-03-06 12:59

    Of course they did. What else did anyone expect. We need a police force to police the criminals in uniform.

  • johan.vanheerden.737 - 2013-03-06 12:59

    Lock the station commander up for theft of the horns- let him go and join his mates in jail- that MIGHT send the right message

  • Dexter Tangocci - 2013-03-06 13:40

    Every cop in that station should be dragged behind a police van.

  • Benson Mzwamadoda Madala - 2013-03-06 14:27

    Theres nothing like that is taken by them. Theres nothing can desappear from the police station and nobody knows exepet them.

  • ravin.govinden - 2013-03-06 15:26

    So there is no more cops left just robbers. So lets play robbers and robbers and let us see who is the winner.

  • Annemarie White - 2013-03-06 15:33

    "it is not clear how the horns disappeared, beacause there were no burglaries at the police station". That statemnt clears the mystery. They were taken by a person who has access to that location. What a joke our SAPS has become. An expensive taxpayer's joke.

  • Denephe - 2013-03-06 15:40

    AGAIN: Rotten to the core!!

  • John Smith - 2013-03-06 16:06

    ARREST every thock thug with a key for suspicion of theft and possession of rhino horn along with the station commissioner for deriliction of duty!

  • jungleboy - 2013-03-06 16:23

    I want to know where father Christmas was the night the horns went missing??? He has got some explaining to do. Lets launch another commission of numb nuts to investigate how the horns disappeared when the police were the only one with the keys.

  • Puli Seleisi - 2013-03-06 16:30

    Ok now i give up, do we have the police officers in our police stations or thieves? How can the horns and the guns disappear from the police stations whereby thieves or bad guys are behind bars? Honestly speaking SA is worse now with crime being committed by people who should be protecting us.Shame on whoever did this.

  • rory.n.price - 2013-03-06 21:55


  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-03-07 10:05

    Its the cop with the Rhino horn strapped to the front of his car.

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