Vets in court for rhino poaching drugs

2012-02-29 10:21

Johannesburg - Three veterinarians and five other men appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Tuesday in connection with the wrongful possession and distribution of scheduled veterinary drugs commonly used in rhino poaching.

One of the vets, Douw Grobler, formerly headed the Kruger National Park's wildlife capturing and veterinary services unit.

He was fired after a disciplinary hearing 10 years ago in connection with the mismanagement of a buffalo conservation project in Phalaborwa, Beeld reported.

Grobler appeared with state vet Dr Buti John Chibase, and private vet Johannes Gerhardus Kruger, as well as professional hunter Hugo Ras, and Matthys Christoffel Scheepers, Riaal Booysen, Johan Carl Heydenrych and Christoffel Francois Naude.

They were all arrested between August and November.

They face charges of contravening the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act.

They were released on bail of between R1 000 and R5 000, and the case was postponed until April.

  • Gideon - 2012-02-29 10:24

  • Marion - 2012-02-29 10:28

    My God. What happened to being a vet in order to save those who cannot help themselves? I hope you all get fat jail sentences and that your property is confiscated because it was obtained with ill-gotten gains. You are the lowest of the low. Even lower than the poachers in my opinion. Skaam julle!!

      christo.stone - 2012-02-29 11:12

      Nice generalization there... I'm Afrikaans and I would rather live in poor conditions than kill ANY animal...

      Shanelle - 2012-02-29 11:16

      @Garth - Greed is a human condition found in all races. There is horribleness in all races, I'm slightly amused that some people are shocked that Afrikaaners can also be criminal.

      melissa.jarvis2 - 2012-02-29 11:16

      i agree, they should get prison sentences. people who are poaching innocent animals are psychopaths.

      Compos - 2012-02-29 11:52

      Jeez Garth, what a stupid comment. You are probably not the sharpest tool in the shed.

      Garth - 2012-02-29 12:10

      @Shanelle - so `Afrikaner' is a `race' now? Always thought that many believed themselves part of the `master race', but never on as high a pedestal as a separate race. Oh, and to others: `if the shoe fits . . .'

      jrdevilliers - 2012-02-29 12:31

      Ja, Garth...bit of a bold statement! Im part Dutchman and yes there are plenty corrupt/greedy Dutchmans involved in exploiting the Rhino for profit. The same applies to the government! For the most part, Its either the Dutchmans or the Chinese that are involved in this organised crime of wiping out the Rhinos! Most of these rotten apples at the top of the ladder are rotten Afrikaans trophy hunters, Vets/Chinese and then you you have the natives that do the dirty work.. The rubbishe's at the top are the ones that need to get 20 years + sentences....and then, "Papa wag vir jou"

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:00

      Shanelle, same here. Afrikaners can also succumb to greed, just like any other.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:04

      Alicia, Dr Bhuti John Chibase is not an Afrikaner, if we are speaking of whites here. Somehow we just can't get away from that word can we?. Greed has no colour bar, all races suffer from it. I wish you the best with your struggles.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:06

      Div, what the heck are Dutchmens?

      jrdevilliers - 2012-02-29 13:14

      Quite surprised you dont know what a dutchman is... aka Afrikaner. English= rooineck; Afrikaner= dutchman, clutchplate etc

  • vernon.wolf - 2012-02-29 10:31

    I find it so very disturbing that so many vets seem to be involved in this horrific trade! Take their license to practise away and jail these disgusting cretins for as long as possible!

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 22:46

      Money is the root of ALL evil....... !

  • Erna - 2012-02-29 10:34

    These bastards should not have received bail!!!! Don't we ever learn - once a poacher always a poacher! re. Douw Grobler

      alansmartSnr - 2012-03-04 22:19

      @ Jacqui.. Dankie dat jy die saak van Afrikaner (Dutchmen) in die regte perspektief stel. Feit is dat die meeste wildsboere in daardie omgewing en in die Vrystaat afrikaners is en voorsorg getref het, deur ondermeer onder beheerde toestande met Fauna en Flora die meeste renoster se horings verwyder het. Waarom kon die Kruger Wild Tuin se bestuur nie dieselfde gedoen nie. Dit sou 'n einde maak aan hierdie onnodige slagting. Wat min mense weet is dat hulle pote ook verwyder word (en olifante) vir versierings en trofeƫ. Om die afrikaners uit te sonder, dink ek, is hoogs onregverdig en ondeur dag. Alle rasse het hulle goeie en hul oneerlike mense!

  • Robin - 2012-02-29 10:37

    Bury the bas***ds. Why must our oxygen continue to support their miserable lives? Eco-criminals are the very worst kind of humanity; the lowest of the very low.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 22:59

      yea, bury them on the main beach in Clifton with only their heads sticking out of the sand and let everyone see the seagulls pick at their eyes, the very same eyes that saw all the money being dealt with due to their greed for it! Assets Forfeiture Unit - at the same time please place all their illegally obtained/purchased possessions next to them on the beach for all to see what they gained through their heinous acts, or at least place a large banner planted in the sand next to them with a list of all they acquired through their acts!

  • RSole - 2012-02-29 10:45

    Should let them loose in the bush and send out some scrotum hunters.

      Louise Higham - 2012-02-29 13:27

      Do u even think they have balls, cowards don't.

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-02-29 10:46

    I think they should be chased in to a field with high fences then you get some people to hunt them and cut of their "Horns".. Bloody bastards

  • Tim - 2012-02-29 10:51

    Rhino horn is now more expensive than gold. These okes are selling rhino horn. They can easily afford a small bail like that! Nail them; make them pay tens of thousands of rands bail! I don't understand it. They will go kill a rhino and it will pay for everything before they need to appear in court again. Why is our country being so lenient? Maximum bail, maximum punishment or are our politicians also involved in this act of crime?

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:08

      Last week on the BBC world news there was a rapport that U.S officials have arrested a group of Rhino horn traders, supplying the Vietnames and Chinese markets. I never heard anything about it here.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-03-04 22:23

      Jacqui.. it was mentioned on channel 403. E TV News

  • John - 2012-02-29 10:53

    I've got that from Magie "WHAT A WASTE OF SKIN"

  • Eduard - 2012-02-29 10:55

    This article is written in sensational fashion and so are the first 7 comments. These guys are NOT on trial for rhino poaching. They are on trial for wrongful possession or distribution of certain medicines. It is the media who is making the connection to rhinos. Earlier this week for example the media reporter that Morne Steyn's father stole stuff (Beeld front page). A few days later they published a small article on page 5 saying that he in fact stole nothing. What happend with "innocent until proven guilty".

      Kerry - 2012-02-29 11:11

      EDUARD - Same thing! possession and distribution of the medicine is helping the poachers kill! so they are killers too!

      Romano - 2012-02-29 11:12

      Ok Eduard then can you explain what they use it for! if you see smoke, usualy there is a fire!

      Deon - 2012-02-29 11:13

      I agree, people should read before commenting.

      Marion - 2012-02-29 11:45

      @Eduard - point taken. Innocent until proven guilty. However, just look at the combination of people involved here: 1x ex KNP vet, 1x state vet, 1x private vet, 1x professional hunter and 4 other okes. Strange gatherings of tribes and men.

      Deon - 2012-02-29 11:50

      It is the same if we lock up all gun owners for being in possession of a gun as it is commonly used in murder.

      Romano - 2012-02-29 12:05

      Deon the key words are, " wrongful possession and distribution of scheduled veterinary drugs " if a guy is in wrongfull possession of a gun lock him up.Please think before you comment!

      Garth - 2012-02-29 12:13

      @Eduard - don't make the mistake of defending the reprehensible. Do a bit of research into grobler's history . . .

      RSole - 2012-02-29 12:15

      @Eduard. Hate to break the news to you, but the tooth fairy does not exist either. But point taken on the not guilty until.... thing

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:10

      What were they doing with this stuff then?. Stop justifying the acts of crooks.

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:10

      Deon, if we don't read first how can we comment?.

      Louise Higham - 2012-02-29 13:25

      Obviously u are no rocket scientist or even close. They guilty by association. U don't have to pull the trigger, u supply the gun & ammunition that's enough for the court to charge u. Think about it before making a comment like this

      Deon - 2012-02-29 15:07

      Read the article carefully, nowhere are they accused of killing any Rhino's. Vets carry these drugs to be able to transport animals legally. Some people are careless with drugs and might loan it to others or don't keep good records of drugs distribution etc.

      Romano - 2012-03-01 08:37

      Still Deon we never said they killed Rhinos but they can be part of the syndicate. They distribute it to people and dont give a damn what they do with it. if you sell your gun to someone without the relevant documents and they kill someone you are part of that murder!

      alansmartSnr - 2012-03-04 22:39

      @ Deon.. you are perfectly correct. All game farms(or most) have twice a year a head count of game by choppers. They always have special rifles and sedative carrying darts in event of needing to care for an animal in a trap or injured or sick. The sedatives used are easily obtainable as it is no big deal to the chemist's to supply a game owner. I spent two years on a game farm and have had the exsperience of game-counting. I'm not saying these guys are innocent.. the Fuzz must have had good cause to arrest them..and if they are guilty, they should rot in jail

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:05

      Like cage-hunting that still takes place! ! Let them get a " taste " of what it is like if you don't have anywhere to run.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:17

      Accomplances - just as guilty! Eduardo you live your life on Mars - we live our Ives trying to protect our wildlife! Stop being naive, this is where it all begins, without their (vets, hunters etc. ) involvement these poachers would not be as effecient in their criminal activity as they are - what do these jerks crawling across our borders know about the most effecient way in killing the rhinos or bringing them down before brutally killing them for their horns! This is a very sensitive issue worldwide, so best not to try to compare one newspaper article to another!!!

  • jen.bader - 2012-02-29 10:55

    About time someone up the ladder got caught! Maybe this together with the USA bust can lead to some major players being busted!

  • Richard - 2012-02-29 10:58

    its equal as to have a pedophile run a daycare centre...they need to get harsher punishment. Sny goeters af, spuit hulle met daai medisyne in, die slap-slurpie goed.

  • Richard - 2012-02-29 11:01


  • Lynda - 2012-02-29 11:01

    GREED.......will people stop at nothing for money

  • Maximumstress - 2012-02-29 11:04

    The professional people who are involved in this should really be taken to te cleaners!!

  • Thelma - 2012-02-29 11:08

    Jail the greedy bastards and then de-horn them!!!!!!

      Dawood - 2012-02-29 11:52

      can send you their

      Thelma - 2012-02-29 12:17

      Hey you work at Investec?

  • Bennie - 2012-02-29 11:14

    Death penalty for the scum! They will never receive the punishment they deserve with our current system! One (.......) one poacher...

  • Michael De Klerk - 2012-02-29 11:24

    People, you have lost track, no one said anything about these guys poaching rhinos, only that they were in possession of drugs 'commonly' (synonym: usually) used in rhino poaching, but so is guns. If I have unlawful gun in my possession, does that make me a rhino poacher? These guys are Vets, surely they are going to have drugs that most probably are uses for other stuff too. People automatically assumes that they are rhino poachers before the outcome, let's wait and see before we condemn them.

      Garth - 2012-02-29 12:42

      @Michael - don't make the mistake of defending the reprehensible. Do a bit of research into grobler's history . . .

      Jacqui - 2012-02-29 13:18

      Next you will be saying because they are vets they are above suspicion. It's like saying the guy had drugs but let's wait and see if he is actually going to sell it. What a lot of baloney.

      Louise Higham - 2012-02-29 13:21

      U don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the plot, of course they guilty. If u stand next to someome who has just been shot and you gun is still smoking what then. Dah

      Deon - 2012-02-29 15:11

      I agree, some people don't know that you give these same drugs to animals when you transport them. It is used to calm them down for a long trip.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:30

      Deon - Time will tell whether your dumb theory stands any grounds in "this" particular case!

  • Kevin - 2012-02-29 11:28

    Nail the vets . They must never ever e practise again.

  • Michael De Klerk - 2012-02-29 11:28

    For being in possession of drugs that are 'commonly' used in rhino poaching??? I don't want to know what you intend to do with an actual rhino poacher.

  • Amanda - 2012-02-29 11:30

    Oh my word does the ordinary person on the street really know what the situation in our judicial system consists of today, incompetence, useless, and quite a few unmentionable words. Justice will never prevail for the rhino!!!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-29 12:42

      Huh? What the heel does the judicial system have to do with this?

  • Jeffrey - 2012-02-29 11:36

    writing a story or go for press is all about pursueding the read, if one writes about rhino poaching then possession of drugs used for rhino capturing. what is the relationship of events. are they arrested based only on the existence of such drug? what makes them to be poachers, the possession of a drug? who recieves in what they term "in connection with the wrongful possession and distribution of the drug.If anything other than drugs, oh my God, the journo must tell us. cry blood my Africa, no more Good journalism.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-29 12:40

      Jeffery, the drug that is used to knock out Rhino is only allowed in the possession of licensed vets who are involved in Rhino replacement. ANYONE else in possession of these drugs is not allowed.. So, why would you be in possession of these drugs?

  • BuzzM - 2012-02-29 11:40

    It looks like the noose is tightening on all Rhino poaching syndicates! Well done to the men, women and organisations involved in catching these heartless bastards!

  • Natasha - 2012-02-29 11:53

    "Released on bail"... just to go out and kill more rhinos...why cant they be kept locked up...

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-29 12:41

      Because innocent until proven guilty...

      Amanda - 2012-02-29 17:01

      Obviously PointBlank is really BLANK on The POINT what goes on in our courts today.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:36

      Bail is usually based on the flight risk of the suspect before attending the next hearing or the full trial.

  • kasamkelo - 2012-02-29 11:55

    again.........blame it on ANC and Malema

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-29 12:41

      again... Why?

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:37

      Point Plank - get back into your box and stay there until we call for you to give your worthless evidence!

  • phillipa.mill - 2012-02-29 11:56

    sick bastards I hope you rot in jail

      Amanda - 2012-02-29 13:17

      If they ever get thrown into jail!

  • Sipho - 2012-02-29 12:23

    Skande, skande, skande!

  • Mouldy - 2012-02-29 12:28

    Does anyone know where these ppl live or work?

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:47

      Sometimes allowing suspects out on bail is a good thing because it allows more time to watch them and to gather more substantial evidence against them - once a criminal always a criminal. The hawks will be keeping a close eye on these thugs while they go about their "usual" lives! They are going to catch themselves in their own noose! Even better evidence in court - in the mean time subpoenas on their cellphone records will bring out more evidence and/or worms from the woodwork - so you see bail is not always such a base thing - if these guys were in jail they would not have been able to try to cover their tracks, while being out there, they are most likely just busy incriminating themselves anyway!

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-02-29 12:39

    The veterinarian surgeons are a disgrace to their profession. They should be prohibited to practise ever again. Lock then up and throw the keys away. Greed is their only motive.

  • Jacqui - 2012-02-29 12:58

    Send them to prison and make sure they never come near an animal again. What a disgrace.

  • Andre Peter van Wyk - 2012-02-29 14:14

    If found guilty these people should be given 20 years for Murder of Rhinos. Poaching is a nice word created by people who dont really care. IT IS MURDER NOTHING ELSE.

  • ingrid.rogers3 - 2012-02-29 14:22

    Yes jail for you guys for what you did. Siss on you for killing innocent rhino because of GREED. Could you not make a decent buck by being loyal honest veterinarians. You let the profession down. Hope you regret what you have done and donate money back to Rhino Poaching to help stop the Rhino Poaching - have a good think about it.

  • Deon - 2012-02-29 15:15

    They face charges on the Medicines Controle Act, nothing else.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:53

      Deon, are you any relative by any chance because your cut and paste is becoming quite boring! Remember, more can come from a case than you may think!

  • Phil - 2012-02-29 15:20

    Pure greed and no morals. These people who are supposed to be the animals custodians, deserve to get the maximum sentence for this betrayal.

  • Phil - 2012-02-29 15:27

    Why do some people turn everything into a racial issue? This is about Rhino poaching, not the colour or race of the criminals. Some of this countries greatest conservationists are Afrikaaners.

      Bluemast - 2012-03-04 23:57

      I agree Phil, don't these thugs realise that both black and white rhino are being killed - these rhino can't speak for themselves shouting "I'm black Rhino - please don't kill me" !? These idiots!

  • jcadman3 - 2012-02-29 15:30

    They were released on bail of between R1 000 and R5 000, and the case was postponed until April. do the courts not realise that much damage can be done between now and april?!?!?!?! Bail should not have been an option!!

  • adriaan.labuschagne2 - 2012-02-29 16:21

    I met DOUW GROBLER in the Kruger park what a nice person he was DOUW what is wrong with your mind why do things like this shame on you, what happen to Douw the man we all now????????!!!!!!!!!!

      Deon - 2012-02-29 16:49

      He is up on a meds case, nothing else.

  • vsmeets - 2012-10-19 20:10

    Utter bullsh*t to be released on bail! The truth...

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