SANParks officials held for rhino poaching

2012-02-29 07:56

Johannesburg - Four SA National Parks (SANParks) officials have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching, SANParks said on Wednesday.

The four officials were arrested on Tuesday afternoon after two rhino were found killed in the Kruger National Park (KNP) earlier that morning, SANParks spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa said in a statement.

"The animals had been shot and their horns removed. Further investigations into the killing of the two rhino and possibly other rhino poaching incidents in the area are currently being conducted," she said.

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

One of the officials was a field ranger involved in the ongoing strike at the park.

Another was a traffic officer connected to the protection services unit - the second traffic officer arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

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

Fifty people had been arrested in connection with poaching since the start of the year, said Mkutshulwa

"I am personally saddened to discover that some of our own would so callously abuse the confidence and faith that we have entrusted upon them," said SANParks chief executive David Mabunda.

KNP spokesperson Gabrielle Venter said in a statement on Friday that a joint meeting between park officials and union representatives would take place on Wednesday in an attempt to resolve the strike.

This was "to consider the extent of salary disparities, where identified, and recommend measures to be implemented to ensure salary parity", she said.

  • Herman - 2012-02-29 08:02

    Show their faces!

      Typersa - 2012-02-29 08:08

      As we all suspected from the start of it all!! These corrupt bastards are everywhere and involved in everything!!

      Willie - 2012-02-29 08:15

      Give them free tickets to China with their luggages full of cocaine, problem solved

      Francois - 2012-02-29 08:20

      And put them in that prison cell where the inmates that are worse than those awaiting the traffic offenders. Maybe they will then find out that rhino horn actually solve some problems, but not for those who sniff it, it will be for inmates problems that will be solved and they did not need rhino horn.

      christo.stone - 2012-02-29 08:31

      Farking bastards! Show their faces! They should be jailed for LIFE! May you rot in hell you filth!

      John - 2012-02-29 08:33

      Show me an honest traffic official, don’t think one exists.

      Merven - 2012-02-29 08:42

      Maybe they should tag the rangers instead of the rhinos.

      Trevor - 2012-02-29 08:42

      As I thought, they are corrupt right into there bones. The type of people that will leave there families staving, while they have full bellies.

      Andrew - 2012-02-29 09:14

      cut off their dicks!!

      IAnon - 2012-02-29 09:35

      It just goes to show how low every official sector in SA has sunk!!!

      jrdevilliers - 2012-02-29 11:07

      This does not surprise me...with so many Rhinos getting poached in the Kruger NP, poachers must have inside information. This poaching problem wont stop until we catch the the Chinses 'Mafia' and the rest of the organised syndicates, including the corrupt vets operating in SA. Unfortunately, the governments response to anything thats 'urgent' will take years to (hopefully)implement, by that time the Rhino will be near extinct! The Chinese and their ignorant beliefs are going to wipe out the Rhino's in Africa just like they have done with numerous other species for so called medicinal purposes which have been proven to be ineffective.

      melissa.jarvis2 - 2012-02-29 11:22

      inside job. typical

      Mike - 2012-02-29 13:18

      Better yet; Let them share a 10 x 10m enclosed camp with two pregnant Rhino females!!

      Karin - 2012-03-01 13:06

      Cut off their "horns"

  • Ben - 2012-02-29 08:03

    No really, they should have known better.

      Francois - 2012-02-29 08:22

      I think they knew better. They took the chance of making that extra buck ( no pun intended). They are afterall game rangers or are you suggesting that people working the the Kruger Park does not know that it is about the animals that people come to visit the Park (mostly).

      Garth - 2012-02-29 08:43

      Yours is the understatement of the year. `they should have known better' - the insensitive, greedy, cruel, hypocritical, traitorous pieces of shiite should have known better. FFS Ben, put some feeling into it!

      Ben - 2012-02-29 09:03

      Sorry Garth, but thank you for adding to my vocabulary.

      maureen.bryden - 2012-02-29 16:16

      Ye Gods, Ben, are you serious with this pathetic comment? Surprised you dont post something along the lines of "no no darlings, that is a little bit naughty. Mommy will smack your little handies"!! FFS, GET REAL!!

  • Nigel - 2012-02-29 08:03

    wow, that is shocking !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, seems greed & corruption knows no bounds

      clivecorbz - 2012-02-29 08:32

      Yeah, you'd think the rhino would be sacred to traffic officers.

  • Vusi - 2012-02-29 08:04

    How are we going to win this battle if those we trust betray us in this scandalous manner.

      StarStruck - 2012-02-29 08:21

      Everyone has a price. That is why money is the root of all evil.

      christo.stone - 2012-02-29 08:33

      Exactly...this is so sad...really wish there was something we could do.

  • John - 2012-02-29 08:05

    Just to ask.... Was it white or black rhino? Seems like we need that stamp prior to postings

      Leedra - 2012-02-29 08:40

      what does it matter, poaching of any animal is a crime!

      Peter - 2012-02-29 08:42

      Does that make a difference numbskull!!

      Brad.Kopping - 2012-02-29 09:04

      are you serious?? a rhino is a rhino!! >_< damnit man who cares what color it is!!!!

      Carly - 2012-02-29 09:15

      True Story John! Usually all the posts always end up being about race! As for the comments above remember that next time someone plays the race card "who cares what colour it is"

      rhoda.blackburn1 - 2012-02-29 09:52

      Seriously John?

      John - 2012-02-29 09:55

      I love you all. Thanks for not making this racial....:)

      Rob - 2012-02-29 10:37

      John ....never mind, I get your humor...The Rhino were white and the poachers know..... something like farm murders. Now I`m probably going to get hung,deleted,banned,called a racist etc. etc. But John, If I get ONE thumbs up, I`ll know it was from you. Don`t abandon me in my hour of need.

      John - 2012-02-29 10:46


      Caryn - 2012-02-29 10:49

      I see what John is asking. I am an avid Kruger visitor and animal lover but the black rhino is far more endangered than the white. In Kruger there are only 400 black rhino and 3000 white. It is disgusting that any rhino be poached but the colour because of their numbers, would be interesting.

      Danny - 2012-02-29 12:22

      I think John's comment is a funny poke at every other news24 article which becomes about race :)

      mommaroodle - 2012-02-29 14:18

      Cant believe I just read that! - you must truly be as thick as two bricks

      Peter - 2012-02-29 15:21

      Black rhino are very scarce in the park, also very secretive. More than likely white rhino, very tame and easy to approach. Its common knowledge in the adjacent communities to Pretoriuskop whom the poachers are. They flaunt it, like a gangster sort of culture. Its very close to a lost cause, those who are meant to enforce anti poaching laws are involved heavily - so take as many pictures as you can now of rhino's, pretty soon they will just be memories.

  • Madeleine - 2012-02-29 08:06

    So, they instigate a strike, knowing that there would then be less protection for the animals.

      PB - 2012-02-29 08:24

      My thoughts exactly! This is just SO WRONG!!!

      Willie - 2012-02-29 09:13

      Good point

  • annoyed - 2012-02-29 08:07

    Unbelievable!!! ... SHOCKING!

  • Moeti - 2012-02-29 08:11

    rhino poaching where is the sa law enforcement agency?

  • francien.vanzyl - 2012-02-29 08:12

    Sanparke moes lankal in hulle binne kringe begin soek het.

      StarStruck - 2012-02-29 08:28

      Dit sal my nie verbaas as die bestuur van die Krugerpark ook betokke is hierby nie. Daardie horings is 'n goudmyn werd en die Krugerpark het die meeste Renosters. Ons weet net van 43 dode, daar kan baie meer wees.

      John - 2012-02-29 08:55

      @Starstruck. Wonderful news that these guys were caught, but now they must be interrogated to find out who they were supplying the horns to and then we might just find out that the management is also involved. Then we are on the right track, these guys were not working alone.

      StarStruck - 2012-02-29 09:31

      JohnB - at this point we are all speculating and so far the evidence suggests that this goes deeper then we can imagine. My opinion would be that this cannot be brought under control because the ones that can stop these killings are involved.

      MissGremlinSays - 2012-02-29 14:15

      Ek stem saam. The question is, is if it was obvious to all of us watching this tragedy from the outside, that Sanparks staff HAD to be involved on some level, why was it not obvious to Sanparks themselves?

  • John - 2012-02-29 08:13

    At least they got the bastards.....good on them

      Herman - 2012-02-29 08:33

      Agree, but we live in South Africa - they will be out on bail before the end of the day!

      Caryn - 2012-02-29 10:50

      and sadly, there are probably many more

      Peter - 2012-02-29 15:24

      Probably just fall guys for the big boys. The area is so rotten with corruption there is little chance the poaching will abate. About to be another embarrassing African legacy I'm afraid.

  • Moeti - 2012-02-29 08:13

    rhino poaching let the sa law enforcement agency intervene

      Joost - 2012-02-29 08:17

      They are the actual culprits, Moeti.

      Wendy - 2012-02-29 09:04

      What law inforcement? where ? who ?

      Willie - 2012-02-29 09:15

      Moeti,enforcement agency are the suspects

      Peter - 2012-02-29 15:25

      Enforcement of the law in this country is now just a legacy of the past.

  • Robin - 2012-02-29 08:14

    Throw the book at them! Hack of their 'horns', sell their body parts to Oriental medicine men and what's left grind up for shark chum. Incarceration at tax-payers expense is too good for them - and all other poachers.

  • SGL - 2012-02-29 08:15

    This is absolutely unacceptable! I hope SANparks and our pathethic justice systems deals with these scumbags in the harshest manner possible. I think rhino poachers should be sentenced to life in shackles working in South Africa's zoo's cleaning and caring for the animals. The shackles must be part of their sentence so anybody seeing them can identify them as rhino murderers.

  • Zwelakhe - 2012-02-29 08:15


  • Deon - 2012-02-29 08:16

    Unfortunately they will carry on and kill them all. Then when they are all gone, they will start on another species until there is nothing left. The Kruger will start loosing it's appeal and local and international visitors will dwindle down to nothing. Then they will start retrenching staff and putting up prices because the upkeep of the Park will be to expensive to run. And when they sit at home, with no work to go to, they will blame everyone els, except themselves. How sad and pathetic.

      zefsf - 2012-02-29 10:00

      Well said!

  • Herman - 2012-02-29 08:18

    San Parks is not doing enough to stop this!!!

  • Mary-Ann - 2012-02-29 08:18

    I am disgusted! But we should have guessed it.

  • Zubair - 2012-02-29 08:19

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Set an example with this lot.!!!

  • dewald.galjaard - 2012-02-29 08:21


  • Amanda - 2012-02-29 08:22

    Is this not the age old story, the protectors who are supposed to protect turns out to be enemy. Easy targets for THESE poachers, who know exactly where the rhinos are in the park. No wonder so many are being killed at Kruger Park. Installing the new radar system is not going to be of any use if the slaughter is coming from inside, easy targets. Come on National Parks at least try and clean up your act!

      Deon - 2012-02-29 08:44

      And when the radar falls in the wrong hands, the poor Rhinos will be walking targets. They don't stand a chance then.

  • Blane - 2012-02-29 08:23

    May I help building the gallows ?

  • symbolofmylife - 2012-02-29 08:23

    When I first heard of this I windered if it wasnt an inside job...well...there it is...

  • Jan-Frans Van Aardt - 2012-02-29 08:25

    Should the rhino become extinct, I certainly don't want to be remembered as one of those who contributed. It may lead to a severe decrease in life expectancy...

  • Morné - 2012-02-29 08:25

    The poaching will never stop if they keep on employeeing the criminals. Do checks on all internaly and than focus on the poachers left, But we all knew all these poachings is done from the inside. And it is not only the officials and traffic officers, its management where the operation is run. Do the investigation and proof me wrong I dare you !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Herman - 2012-02-29 08:29

    Like govt, SANParks is not serious about corruption within the organisation. DR MABUNDA MUST RESIGHN!!!!

      Amanda - 2012-02-29 08:33


  • Louis LuLu'tjie Postma - 2012-02-29 08:34

    shoot them and cut off their horns!

      fhrabie - 2012-02-29 09:30

      And sell it for mutti!!!

  • Heinz - 2012-02-29 08:36

    BLOODY DISGUSTING !!!! They should be made an example of and given the harshest punishment that the law can give ....

  • terry.truscott - 2012-02-29 08:37

    Well done to those involved in the arresting of these cruel, callous, greedy criminals. Let's hope the punishment fits the crime!!!

  • Rudolph.Bergh - 2012-02-29 08:37

    Lets start poaching their horns and let's then see how they feel about that!!!!

  • Tony - 2012-02-29 08:38

    Absolutely shocking that people employed to look after our wildlife are involved in this disgusting form of poaching. I have said many times before that Rhino poaching highlights man's greediness and stupidity.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-02-29 08:39

    This is shocking and disgusting . It's obvious that the SA wildlife is being anialated by corrupt unscrupulous new government fat cats. This is a tragedy beyond Shakespeare's wildest imagination. Rhino tears cover this continent .

  • Dirk - 2012-02-29 08:43

    The poor rhinos do not stand a chance if their protectors are in on it. Disgusting.

  • Thys - 2012-02-29 08:43

    The shocking thing is that there are people posting comments that proclaim their surprise at this.

  • Marion - 2012-02-29 08:43

    I am overjoyed that these b@st@rds have been caught. May many more follow them to prison. The protection of our rhino is very close to my heart. At the risk of boring you all I am posting a poem I wrote a while ago about rhino poaching. DEAD TO THE WORLD midnight silence shatters ears prick, head tilts, turns, unfamiliar noise too late lumbering bodies lurch forward; snorting terror flares nostrils merciless AK-47 stutters cow and calf wheel collapse blood bubbles breath fades eyes roll unholy duet chuck chuck chuck of rotors revving roar of chainsaw three and a half tons of prehistory annihilated bloody backpack filled with greed

      Herman - 2012-02-29 08:50

      Beautiful! Post it on SANParks forum.

      Marion - 2012-02-29 09:32

      Thanks Herman. I will try to do that.

      Marion - 2012-02-29 10:14

      Herman... I tried to get into a SANParks forum to post it but I find that site user unfriendly for someone of my age (lol). Couldn't figure it out.

      Herman - 2012-02-29 11:26

      Marion, I've posted it for you on this forum:

      Marion - 2012-02-29 12:57

      Thanks Herman, that was kind of you. Will go check it out.

      Erna - 2012-03-01 08:55

      Thank you Marion having witnenessed rhino poaching, your poem cuts to the heart!

  • Joel - 2012-02-29 08:43

    /even the entrusted ones are abusing this Rhinos,they deserve permanent jail time.

  • Thoka - 2012-02-29 08:44

    WTF'' trust nobady in this world

  • Tevashnee - 2012-02-29 08:46

    Is this revelation really that shocking? C’mon...

  • Mesulie Vince' Ntombela - 2012-02-29 08:48

    A job well done! There is NOTHING hidden that shall not be brought to light, one way or the other it will be made known. They must make an example of these idiots...

  • Kevin Nicklin - 2012-02-29 08:49

    Interrogate them and identify their ring leaders and king pins. Time to take them all down!

  • ben.nel2 - 2012-02-29 08:50

    SANParks - South African National Poaching and Rhino Killing Shop

  • Herman - 2012-02-29 08:52

    Post your concerns on SAN Parks Forum - Lets put preasure on them to do something!

      Barefoot - 2012-02-29 10:03

      Aren't they doing something?

      tiaan.fourie - 2012-02-29 10:21

      Well if they are, they're not doing enough Barefoot...80 Rhinos...

  • paul.darne - 2012-02-29 08:56

    Name & Shame News24

  • Hannes - 2012-02-29 08:57

    i said this before and i will say it again... those four are not the only people... the problem is these people are not in sanparks for the love of animals but the love of money...

  • Jannie - 2012-02-29 08:58

    cut their horns off BASTARDS Name and shame them Hang them at the park entrance

  • my10cent - 2012-02-29 08:59

    This will never end as long as the SA government sleeps with China!!!

      Herman - 2012-02-29 13:26

      Only too true. SA as a nation will pay dearly for our love affair with China. Our leaders are selling our future down the drain for the kickbacks from the Chinese. They are the locusts that will put the finishing touches to the destruction of our environment.

  • Hannes - 2012-02-29 09:01

    They are not the first and will not be the last , I am sure that most of the poaching in the park are connected with the inside staff !

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-02-29 09:02

    cut off their noses! its the only way! an eye for eye >:(

  • Wendy - 2012-02-29 09:02

    are we surprised?

  • quantumadventures - 2012-02-29 09:06

    String them up! These bastards are oxygen thieves and traitors!

  • poaul - 2012-02-29 09:08

    The best penalty for these guys: Dehorn them too...