SA considering rhino horn trade, minister says

2012-05-02 22:46

Cape Town - South Africa is considering whether to approach the international community with a proposal to trade in rhino horn, Environment Minister Edna Molewa told MPs on Wednesday.

Opening debate in the National Assembly on her department's budget, she said this included engaging "major role players, including international and regional partners [and] potential consumer states".

Molewa's remarks come 10 months ahead of the 16th congress of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), set to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, in March next year.

According to reports, South Africa is sitting on an estimated 20-ton stockpile of rhino horn; some of it in private hands, some stored by conservation authorities.

The price of the horn, should the Cites moratorium on trade be lifted, has been estimated at more than R500 000/kg.

Molewa has declined to say how much rhino horn is held by government-managed parks and reserves.

"Due to security risks, the department cannot publicly announce the amount of stocks being held by these agencies," she said earlier this year.

On Wednesday, she said her department was involved in an "extensive" preparatory process ahead of the Cites congress.

"This will include discussions on whether or not to approach the international community with a proposal to trade in rhino horn."

On the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, Molewa said 199 rhino had been killed so far this year.

"We are very, very deeply concerned," she told the House.

Earlier, briefing journalists at Parliament, Molewa said South Africa would not table a document at the next Cites meeting calling for the rhino horn trade moratorium to be lifted.

"No, not this time around. We are still considering all options, as well as probabilities towards that direction. We have not decided yet. Let it be clear.

"We are still doing some very serious work in analysing whether we need to move in that direction or not."

Among the things that needed to be done before trade could be resumed was "to ensure we get to know who the partners are on the other side".

Policies had to be in place "that do not allow any shenanigans to operate in the system," Molewa said.

"There are just too many things to do before we can place the discussion before the conference of parties. We are not yet there."

  • En - 2012-05-02 22:53

    Yes...flood the market with horn (legal horn). Supply will hopefully meet demand, dropping the price, and making it less attractive to poachers. This can at least be used as an interim method for a few years.

      Assis - 2012-05-02 23:15

      Fully agree! It's a prudent move in a situation where demand defies logic.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-02 23:48

      No, there's not enough rhino's left to satisfy the massive Asian market. Should majestic animals be killed and hurt because there are people that are stupid enough to believe that the equivalent of fingernails is a cure for impotence?

      Jack - 2012-05-03 00:18

      and what happens if the supply just broadens the market? then you're left with a bigger problem when the supply runs out

      Burtfred - 2012-05-03 02:17

      The ANC have been stymied from collecting huge money from e-tolling, so now they see a potential windfall in selling rhino horn. Just like in the e-tolling debacle, we will never know how much horn is sold or where the money is going to. They are not to be trusted.

      Benn - 2012-05-03 04:43

      If only the same concern was shown to the other endangered specie in SA - the farmer.

      Dave - 2012-05-03 05:00

      Where will the money end up , Which ANC pocket

      John - 2012-05-03 05:20

      @Burtfred. You are absolutely right, I can already hear criminals inside the cANCer licking their lips at the R10Bil(quick calculation) windfall, and which department is going to oversee this "sale"? The dark side of the SAPS? More likely our super kleptomaniac, the wives are getting expensive. Policies had to be in place "that do not allow any shenanigans to operate in the system," Molewa said. They are already admitting that there are undesirables waiting to get their hands into this sizable cookie jar. Does anyone in their right minds think that this will better the plight of our majestic RHINO's?

      Walter - 2012-05-03 06:17

      This move has been bandied about for quite some time. Unfortunately, we have incompetent people, including the Minister Molewa, who find it difficult to make the right decisions. The "legal" sale of horn must be controlled by a responsible body who is totally "clean". Before this, however, every rhino in the country must be registered and have DNA sampling taken otherwise loopholes will occur. Time is running out for our rhinos!!!

      Jarryd - 2012-05-03 06:45

      But what will happen once the stockpile is sold? Isn't this effectively advertising high rhino horn prices and encouraging people to kill more rhino? Thats what I would have thought... I dont know if this is the solution. The far east(?) need to come to the table and educate their people on the scientific(?) data that shows this horn isn't magical or what-not. Harch legislation to crack down on poachers would would be good too.

      Gieljam - 2012-05-03 06:49

      If they have 20 ?tons they should sell it under controlled conditions as most of it will be stolen before the sale if not already stolen . Money generated to be given as compensation to farmers and their family's who have been brutally assaulted and murdered here and in Zimbabwe..

      rtreurnicht - 2012-05-03 07:40

      And what will happen when the 20 tons are sold? If the trade ban is lifted I doubt the government will ban it again when millions roll in!

      NrGx - 2012-05-03 07:45

      Great idea! but i want to know what will this "extra" cash inflow be earmarked for? protecting the rhino, or lining their pockets?

      Burtfred - 2012-05-03 08:06

      @ leonardB1 The average weight of a rhino horn is approx 6KG. The government stockpile of 20 tons equates to approx 3300 rhinos. Are they complicit in the ongoing slaughter of these magnificent beasts?

      Sean - 2012-05-03 08:22

      Firstly, fawk the Asians trading in Rhino horns, they are scum and don't deserve to live - this excludes the normal civilized Asians. Secondly, catch a couple of these poachers and publicly televise the execution of them. Thirdly, grow a pair and make a statement to the effect of "we will hang you if you are caught. But what does SA do, we try and make money from this, another scam. For the record, the next big thing for these Asian scum is Lion Bones. Yes, they are now the new sought after commodity. So expect to see an increase in Lion deaths. AS for the Asian believe system of it cures this and that, well quite frankly you lot can all go fawk yourselves. You have already all but wiped out the tigers and whatever wildlife you lot had, now you want to rape and pillage the rest of the planet. GFY. Stay the hell away from SA and leave our perlemoen alone as well.

      Eternity - 2012-05-03 09:20

      @ leonardB1 The stockpile is probably made up of confiscated and havasted horn. A rhino doesn't need to be killed in order to get it's horn. Poachers just choose to do it as its easier then farming them

      Fascisti - 2012-05-03 09:26

      Now that the govt has a 20 ton stockpile, they are seeing dem dollar bills too! hypocrites

      Marianne - 2012-05-03 10:02

      As long as you have Chinese in Africa you are wasting your time. The Chinese as a nation are the root cause of so many animals on the verge of extinction, eg Tigers,Rhinos,Elephants,Sharks and even Seahorses. They are a barbaric lot!

      Hugh - 2012-05-03 11:24

      News on TV said 50Tons at R500,000/kg. dont know which is correct, but its a truck load of money. Way tempting for criminals in powerful places. Keep the ban, the money would NOT go to good use.

      melosin - 2012-07-12 14:29 got a petition going...hopefully people will get wind of it and sign!

  • Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:09

    Do that, thats the end of Rhinos and Elephants...Because once they receive the money for Ivory...there is no going back. Greed is one of the most deadliest sins (christian or not) they will want more and more. It will open the gates to slaughter...Destroy the horns. because if not it will destroy our wildlife and in turn destroy the beauty of this country...

      Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:14

      It is a gateway to making new laws about trading in ivory...they are coming in the backdoor, and once that happens law changes to make it easier for the government and private parks to hunt Rhino and elephant(Donald trumps son and friends included)...this cannot happen. IT IS ILLEGAL TO TRADE IVORY!!!

      Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:28

      Just get the army of South Africa to patrol the borders of the game reserves...where is the army?

      Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:34

      It will be a fieled day for Ivory traders, cheap ivory, and then when the ivory is depleted then what...kill a few more!! Bugger that...

      Sharon - 2012-05-02 23:46

      Where there is money to be made, our govt will always be first in the queue. And if anyone is under the misconception that they money raised by this will be used for conservation, then I'm sorry I have to burst the bubble - that money will only conserve the lifestyles our government has become accustomed to.

      Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:55

      Thank you Sharon...I don't know if you know about the late Lawrence Anthony, I wwent with him to Sudan to save the last Northern white Rhinos in Garumba park(LRA-Joseph Koni and the lads) They lived in that park and were feeding themselves from that park, and we (I went with Lawrence and my wife, a brilliant journalist to cover and help protect the Northern White Rhinos, with the late Lawrence. We got them to signed a treaty, including the peace treaty between the warring factions and added in that peace treaty to save the Northern White Rhinos)Lawrence got them to put into that peace treaty to not shoot and kill the Northern White Rhino.And to hear what this government want to do is totally againd=st conservation. If you do not believe what I am mentioning, go to Chapter two of his book, and we are there...Julie and Christopher...

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:03

      This is the link to his books that the great Lawrence Anthony wrote. The above comments are my views alone. But I am so glad to have been part of his one journey(he had many).

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:05

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:09

      One more link... Lawrence started off the Earth Organization with his sons and family...please everyone go follow this link below.

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:13

      Dee - 2012-05-03 00:34

      100% behind your views Christopher .... and yes, trying to flood the market IS IMPOSSIBLE WHERE ASIAN POPULATIONS ARE IN BILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND DEMAND INSATIABLE!!! All that will happen is that corrupt politicians on both sides of the ocean will enrich themselves with this trade - and rhino extinction will be more rapid. There are other pratical steps to reducing demand : 1. A Youtube pseudo snuff movie with asian sub-titles showing a rhino ghorn user in agonising death throes - and warning that all rhino horn is poisoned 2. A massive media campaign in all Asian countries warning about poisoned rhino horn 3. Follow up with a massive shipment of (internationally approved above or under the carpet) poisoned rhino horn. A FEW DEAD HUMANS 100% justified to curb demand 4. Asian countries to apply drug traffic death penalty to rhino / any endangered species traded for 'muti'. 5. International laws that murder of endangered species to carry the same penalty as for murder of a human. And we should start a national campaign to dump all our toe / finger nails, cows hooves, pigs trooers, hair cutting and any other keratin on every Asian embasy until they comply with getting serious about dealing with their keratin-krazies.

      Bruce - 2012-05-03 00:50

      Should we support a superstition? I don't think however much we have stockpiled will be enough to satisfy people that believe it will cure all ills. Only hope is to educate, but the people behind it, are not interested in that, they just want to make money and so they support these superstitions.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-05-03 01:05

      That's 10 billion rand. Enough to fund our parks for a good while, or a minister for about 6 months at the 12 Apostles

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 01:18

      Dee, Poisoning Rhino horns is not the answer. We need to stop it at the route. I still wonder why the army, our so called army, if there is one is not safe gaurding our natural heritage. Its all about the money. Carte Blance did a story about stoch theft, namely horses and a cattle. And yet after the airing two weeks later there was a huge amount of horse thefy and stock theft, its a border that we can control but we do not...I dunno why, but those farmers are battling to control this theft, and absolutely no assistane from the government. The stock farmers on the lesotho border are having to ride, weapons in hand to retrieve, if they licky their stock that supplies South african communities, A lot of these farmers have had to throw in the towels, they cannot even sell their farms. Nothing is done...WHY?? We have an army that the tax payer pays, what do they do....nothing...absolutely nothing. This is a story that I was involved in.And went to Lesotho to try and retrive some of these horses. They let them starve in a paddock so they can sell the meat.its sad...and these farmers(black and white, Wille Mtolo, comrades marothon winner has a farm there, and he is also thinking about packing it up) are really trying to survive, but have no support from the government. The goverment has no idea the situation they in, because they literally do not care.They live in the cities earning large amounts of money, why should they care....

      Dee - 2012-05-03 02:36

      Christopher - With L.Anthony experience in mind, are there any Tribal Leader avenues left? Or an area for MK Vets to be enlisted / emotionally engaged in? Sigh... I'm clutching at straws perhaps, but fear police, army, govt agents more likely a threat than help....

      John - 2012-05-03 03:58

      Christopher, I agree, get the army in, they do bugger all all day. Let them treat it like a maneuver, get some hands on field experience. We spend a huge amount maintaining them let them show us what they are capable of and they must use LIVE ammunition!!

      helizna - 2012-05-03 08:48

      Ivory and rhino horn are renewable resources (nails and teeth). **THEY GROW BACK.** If not chopped off like a finger, the nail grows back, as does the horn. Wake up, hysterical city folk, this is a goldmine if game farmers were allowed to farm with rhino and elephant! And both gene pools would improve, as well as extinction being averted.

      Eternity - 2012-05-03 09:57

      @Christopher You can harvest rhino horn without killing them. There would be no slaughter if its handled correctly

  • sakhi.TheNextKent.dlala - 2012-05-02 23:16

    Wow.I did not see this one coming.So if the horn gets traded legally? Will that stop the killing of Rhinos?...Please say yes!.....But i'm appalled at the fact that we had to reach this stage because of some deluded Asians!

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-02 23:45

      No, it won't stop the killing because there's not enough rhino's left in this world to satisfy the massive Asian demand for rhino horn.

  • Charmaine - 2012-05-02 23:18

    mmmm... Just a suggestion.... Auction the horns and give the money back to the nature reserves to improve on security so they can catch the damn poachers. It can be like an charity event of some sort.

  • Russell - 2012-05-02 23:22

    I don't think this is a good idea. The price of rhino horn is more than gold or platinum or cocaine. My point is that there would need to be a continuous future supply of rhino horn to permanently bring the price down (making poaching less appealing). Should SA flood the market, buyers around the world will mop up and 'store' the horn (much like the diamond dealers control the supply of diamond sales) until SA's stock is depleted and then return to normal prices and poaching. Surely the best way is to educate the people using horn. If all the money made from selling SA's stock goes into a huge user targeted awareness campaign showing the graphic results of poaching, to the criminals making the money, to the people using what is really just dead skin, hair and nails then I would support it.

      Bryan - 2012-05-03 08:31

      The whole point behind legalizing the trade in Rhino horn is to undercut the poachers. The country needs to establish a central trading organization to which private and publicly owned reserves can be primary stakeholders. We are losing millions of dollars of potential export a year. Valuable income which could be used to bolster security at a ground level or perhaps be put towards other conservation measures. At the moment, we have more Rhino dying naturally a year than those that are poached. We have a sustainable supply and plenty in stock. Lets start implementing a well managed economic solution.

  • George Saaiman - 2012-05-02 23:24

    I would also say yes. Why should the game farmer not benefit from the rhino as he is the one protecting the species? I think that if there was trade in rhino horn more big game farmers would invest more into the breeding and protection of the species and that the overall benefits outway the negatives.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-02 23:43

      Farmers should sell meat, wool, wheat etc because that trade is about selling something that has actual value. The rhino horn trade is about stupidity (buyers) and greed( chain of suppliers) Trade that has at it's heart a product which has NO value and in the process kills an animal or in case of legalised trade requires an animal weighing a few tons to have an anaesthetic to remove the horn is not right.

  • Chris - 2012-05-02 23:25

    The ridiculous thing is I cannot think of anything to do with a kilo of rhino horn!?

  • James - 2012-05-02 23:26

    if the Chinese cannot be educated that Rhino Horn cannot do what they believe then by all means, flood the market. But as I have it, stupid as they seem to be, they will just start looking for "original specimens, fresh from nature"!

  • Corrie Brits - 2012-05-02 23:27

    Why not disclose how much rhino horn is being stockpiled. if the bill is passed and they can trade in rhino horn, how much of that money is going to end up in private pockets? and how much is going to be wasted? use the flippen money to save the rhinos.......!!!!!!

  • stanford.frost - 2012-05-02 23:30


      Christopher - 2012-05-02 23:36

      Exactly Stanford...I thought we had an army, but itseems they do not have the best interest of our wild life at heart..

  • Adil Smit - 2012-05-02 23:37

    Why trade in something that is based on the misconception that rhino horn is a cure for impotence, cancer etc? Rather educate the people that are either uninformed/ stupid enough to believe that. Giving them the opportunity to buy rhino horn strenthen their beliefs and ultimately result in the killing of animals that should be able to walk free in nature. The trade in rhino horn is based on any fact, only misbeliefs and is in effect a pyramid scheme.

      Davin - 2012-05-02 23:46

      yet in our own country we have people that believe in tsangomas and witch doctors... which to most of us isn't at all true. No amount of education will solve this problem. Make examples, it's the only way we will solve this.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-02 23:53

      Davin, true sangomas actually contribute to their community's well-being and will need to register with the Medical Council. Hurting/ killing a majestic, endangered animal because someone believes it cures impotence and other ailments when the seller knows the rhino horn has NO intrinsic value ?

      Davin - 2012-05-03 00:45

      grrrr... I meant the tokoloshe, not the tsangomas. It's something that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The problem here is, with most of the east being so poor, it has only been the wealthy that could afford these items. Now with the avarege wealth increasing in the east these items are now more affordable. Like I said before. No amount of education will save these majestic creatures. The best solution is to do what the governers did to the pirates. They would execute anyone condemned of piracy. Execute the first few poachers and dealers and the rest will see it is too risky. But alas, the same applies to the rape, murder and theft in this country. The government doesn't really see it as a threat, probably because it doesn't affect them, they don't see it to be wrong and/or it is acceptable to them in their way of working. It's a sad world we live in. Really sad...

  • Davin - 2012-05-02 23:43

    Great! The South African Government and SAN Parks is so useless and pathetic! Lets just legalise it so we can make a metric crapton of money at the expense of the little we have left. Really?!?!? Execute anyone with rhino horn or ivory in their possesion. Simple. You think by making it legal people are not going to pouch them? Are you retarded?!?!?! You are raping this country and you couldn't give a damn. It's sick and it needs to stop!

  • Toofaan - 2012-05-02 23:46

    Proof : China really does own South Africa

      En - 2012-05-02 23:48

      Most horn goes to your proof is not so concrete

      Thabang Trahyst Hantsi - 2012-05-03 00:06

      if the government allows that to happen, than i really don't see the difference between them and the poachers they might as well let 'em all out of jail and go 50/50. Truly speaking doesn't break any what what!!!

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:21 a straight on the button.Vietnam is ust ONE of major dealer in Rhino horns, they use it for everything imaginable as a cure...look out for a documentary in a few months time.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-05-02 23:54

    How I wish with all this technology on planet earth, that some wizz person can't come up with a *synthetic rhino horn product* that looks like, smell like it, tastes like it and *do what ever its supposed to do* for imagined libidos.. \r\n \r\nI know, I'm dreaming, but its a well intended thought.. *sign*

      Christopher - 2012-05-03 00:22

      That would be cool Sally...I wish.

      Dee - 2012-05-03 00:42

      It's just keratin. Same as finger and toenils. We should start a national collection to produce a phallic shaped exports. Or maybe someone could spread the word about viagra to the Asians?

  • seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-05-02 23:55

    A recent article stated that the Asians have already shifted their interests to Lions.... the seem to try and stay ahead of the game all the time, what next!?

  • Didi Schoeman - 2012-05-02 23:59

    Legalizing and controlling the trade in Rhino horn would probably stem the tide in Rhino poaching. By offering and flooding the market with certified, cheaper, legal rhino horn the demand for uncertified, more expensive, illegal Rhino horn would start to fall... remember that the buyer doesn't always know whether he or she is actually buying powdered rhino horn or counterfeit powdered cow horn, so I figure they would rather go for the certified stuff that they know to be the real deal. Unlike Ivory, rhino horn can be harvested on a continual basis by "shaving" the horns... meaning the animals do not need to be dehorned at all and like a human finger nail, it grows back at roughly 6 inches a year. For us here on the ground fighting rhino poachers on a daily basis this is an extremely important decision. I agree that educating the consumers is necessary but changing a culture's perception is going to take time and time is a luxury we do not have... Think about it...

      Michael - 2012-05-10 13:28

      perfectly put Didi...Hope it happens and hope some proceeds go to poor communities sarrounding protected areas.

  • esethu3 - 2012-05-03 00:32

    lol The Headline scared the hell out of me... PEW

  • Ted - 2012-05-03 01:13

    I don't like the idea. Just because we have 20 tons and a kg costs R500 000 doesn't mean we have to do it. At any one time we may be holding hundred times as much narcotics seized from drug dealers. Should we sell these to offset the costs of nabbing suspects? If rhino horns are not useful for what they are poached for, why so much per kilo and why publish the value? Attract more poachers?

      Michael - 2012-05-10 13:26

      if we dont do it....the all the rhino will be killed....demand drives supply soooo it will slow the poaching down....slow it down only being the key word.....the majority of the poaching is definately run by people who have dedicated the majority to saving it....just strange how money corrupts all morals...kill money and save the world

  • Arthur - 2012-05-03 01:20

    Yeah sure, send a message out there that it's okay to trade Horns. As if this will stop poachers anyway. I say poison them with Arsenic and let the little idiots die, that's the kinda message I'd like to send to Asia.

  • George - 2012-05-03 01:51

    Where are the DNA junkies. They seem to be alb ego grow any organ down except those that really matter!

      maritza.meyer - 2012-05-03 10:05

      A horn is not an organ...

      Arthur - 2012-05-03 12:12

      It's like hair or fingernails George, you numbnut.

  • teddy.molefe - 2012-05-03 02:20

    Destroy the horns on national television....because no 1 should be trusted with them... We dont even know how they(the government) came up with this idea... For all we know the ministers could have been offered handsome cheques by people responsible for the poaching just to suggest this....and nothing would hurt them more then to see it go up in flames.

  • teddy.molefe - 2012-05-03 02:21

    Destroy the horns on national television....because no 1 should be trusted with them... We dont even know how they(the government) came up with this idea... For all we know the ministers could have been offered handsome cheques by people responsible for the poaching just to suggest this....and nothing would hurt them more then to see it go up in flames.

      sydney.matubandlela - 2012-05-03 07:16

      Say they do exactly that, burn all the rhino horn what do we benefit from that? Because I'm sure as hell that it won't change the believes of the people using this product and hence it won't necessarily curtail rhino poaching!! Only a controlled trade could to some extent reduce poaching, we could also use the money from selling to employ more security measures to protect the animals!!!

      Arthur - 2012-05-03 12:16

      Sydney it would be a temporary decline in poaching, then demand will grow beyond what "legal" horn sales can provide and make horn trade "acceptable" to more people. There's no time to F around, burn the horns and get the Asian governments to crack down on the buyers and seller cartels. Kill a poacher and there are ten to replace him, put security in place and they'll find a way around it. I say make examples out of the big boys to do the selling, extremely harsh penalties on the upper echelons of the horn trade network, and extreme penalties to those caught buying it. That's the only way to solve the problem. Kill the buyer / seller market.

  • geoffjleach - 2012-05-03 02:24

    Isolate asia until they comply. We do not have the Resourses to manage and protect Rhino so far. Farming Rhino, I ask you..... Pipe dreams....

      John - 2012-05-03 05:56

      Isolate Asia? You gotta be dreaming, the most powerful economy in the world can't do that(USA). Our cANCer has already climbed so far into that bed we are already bowing to them.

  • Denzil - 2012-05-03 02:40

    Spend some money on "Lab Creating" Rhino Horn. Something like Stem Cell stuff. Country can make a fortune - No Rhinos will be hurt in the process.

  • Richard - 2012-05-03 02:46

    OK Simmer down children. Everybody's getting far too emotional over this issue, so it's imperative that clear heads prevail here. Ironically , it's the continued ban on rhino horn that will drive this magnificent animal to extinction. clearly it's not working. Neither will poisoning anybody. The only option that will work is a responsibly managed and sustainable trade in rhino products. The same is true for all our wild life. the hard reality is that unless it can turned into a self sustaining and profitable business that generates jobs, and income for local communities, it is doomed. I cannot believe that we're sitting on a gold mine's worth of rhino product, and people like Christopher here want us to do exactly what with it. Burn it? and then you wonder why we're poor. Wake up people, Our wildlife should be our greatest asset and should be managed accordingly. With regards to the necessary culling of elephants, we could pay a government employee to do it, or we could charge rich Americans like Donald Trumps kids a million bucks to do the job for us. You choose.

      christoffel.nel - 2012-05-03 05:45

      Emotions cloud the minds. 1bn Chines is not oing to change their believes in a 100 years. Like the Irish and the leparcaun? Africans and the tokelosh. Afrikaners and biltong. I say manage it and use the proceeds for rhino concervation!

      Arthur - 2012-05-03 12:21

      Do you honestly not think that government won't line their own pockets, have a few "extra" Rhino shot here and there for their own profit? Please man, you're dreaming. You're saying the equivalent of Rape stats are so high it will never end, so we might as well legalise it and control it. What rubbish - we need extreme laws and extreme penalties, cooperation between Asia and SA governments to crack down on the "big boys" and also harsher penalties for those caught buying the horns. You want to have an already corrupt government control it? What drug are you on boet.

  • Dennis - 2012-05-03 05:17

    Dear Edna, do you know FOR SURE that you have the 20-ton stockpile of rhino horn ? I think there might be a bit missing doll !!!

  • Nockx - 2012-05-03 05:51

    Awful. What the due is the gov thinking?

  • Lloyd - 2012-05-03 05:59

    UHM, NO!!!

  • wesleywt - 2012-05-03 06:07

    You can make fake rhino horn in a laboratory. Its not like the scum who use will see the difference. In fact they deserved to be tricked.

  • Terence - 2012-05-03 06:13

    Guess they couldn't look past all the money their criminal friends are making .... This is just a solution for them to get more money in their pockets ... WTF is wrong with this country :(

  • donax.adams - 2012-05-03 06:16

    I say ,sell the 20tons and use the money to pay back SANRAL and get rid of the E-Toll saga,then use the Bheki Cele approach of \shoot to kill\ on the Rhino poachers.!

  • Lebzadikgetsi - 2012-05-03 06:24

    Why not consider to burn them

      Louis - 2012-05-03 07:06

      Because if you burn them, the only horns available are those still attached to rhinos. They need to flood the market and bring the demand down. I just have no confidence in the government doing it properly.

      Simon Patrick Ric-Hansen - 2012-05-03 08:46

      Louis, that did not work the last time...

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-03 06:31

    Difficult decision, but I think legalising trade may be the answer. Look at the drug trade, abuse has never being prevented due to it being illigal. In fact drug prices are just higher, and it is a highly criminalised and dangerous industry. Trying to protect rhino while prices are so high is impossible, human greed will go to extreme lengths to achieve it's goals. The value is too high, people are happy to risk death, and even happier to kill, in order to get their hands on this kind of money. Conclusion - legalising is our last chance, even if it also fails, at least we've tried all options.

      mondli.botha - 2012-05-03 08:50

      Wow this is truly a sober comment with no silly charateristics. I hope we can have more people like who will analyze things propery without being naughty!

  • Theo Ferreira - 2012-05-03 06:48

    No minister or elected official should use the word "shenanigans" and expect me to take them seriously...... As for the horns, maybe if you sell the horns at R100 per kg and state(lie) that you have 600T stashed away that will save a few rhinos for a few years from being poached while you flood the market and cut out the middle man, selling directly to the public online... But dream on, that won't work either. Only De Beers and OPEC have successfully controlled price by controlling information about their inventory, true or false. I doubt the ANC can, they can hardly stay awake during parliamentary sessions (if they show up). Instead, how about you bring back the death penalty for poachers alone and put a bounty on their heads on top of that. Then we can all put our money where our mouths are and go take care of the problem ourselves, legally, unless we are all just being sanctimonious about this issue on online forums. Mrs. Minister you may have to look up the meaning of that big word. Excuse my shenanigans...

  • stephanie.v.rooyen - 2012-05-03 06:50

    Burn it all! How the hell can they be okay with selling it now? That will just encourage the market!!

      marumobongani - 2012-05-03 07:46

      thats money

  • Hugo Luyt - 2012-05-03 06:55

    No!! This stupid government has no clue about right and wrong. This is exactly why we have so much corruption.

  • Darryl - 2012-05-03 07:00

    This is not a solution !! Just another way of hiding the fact that THE goverment is to scared to admit the crisis we are in with regards to poaching. We need to educate the east in that there is no medical value in rhino horn. Not sell it to them to make a profit !! WTF !!!

  • thapsta - 2012-05-03 07:20

    as long as they use the money to pay off sanral's debt and scrap the etolling system im ok with ut.

  • jeremy002 - 2012-05-03 07:27

    I believe that would only perpetuate the myth, and someone will get greedy. I would like to sugget the following: Hold a public bonfire of rhino horns, televised world wide, with commentaries in all those asian languages of the countries where rhino horn is used, including an education insert on the uselessness of the product and the extremely distressing and annoying poaching industry, plus a few pics of dead poachers. I sincerely believe this suggestion is the way to go.

  • brainbowgold - 2012-05-03 07:30

    This will buy us some time to try to come up with better protection and policing measures, even if our corrupt politicians fill their pockets with some of the gold. At R500 000 per kilogram for an estimated 20 tons the numbers are mind-boggling. I bet SANRAL and their consultants are grenvious!

  • Andre - 2012-05-03 07:31

    The BIG 5 for South Africa will become BIG 3 if they trade the horns or tusks. - 2012-05-03 08:00

      All rhino horn should be poisoned so the asses that use it can also die like the rhino does.

  • marumobongani - 2012-05-03 07:43

    yes I would say sell them that would be a good tactic to bring in all those involved in endandering our species you buy and go to jail for your involvement as get sentence for possession of rhino horns

  • Vernon - 2012-05-03 07:54

    Seeing as it seems to be China that is the main cause of our Rhino demise ,maybe we should put a bounty on Panda skins and see how China likes to loose there national bear.

  • paul.johnson.1447 - 2012-05-03 08:17

    This is simply an attempt at delaying a urgent problem that needs dealing with right now. Knowing Africa, the only reason why Molewa is tabling this is probably because she plans on getting a commission from the sale. Instead of being sidetracked, put in place a proper action plan to stop poaching and as part of the process enlist real international support to impose economic penalities and sanctions on those countries that persist in trading in rhino horn.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-05-03 08:25

    Bad bad idea, then you are just as bad as the poachers. Invite people to bid on them, then burn it, ... teach the fkkers.

  • paul.johnson.1447 - 2012-05-03 08:25

    Or thinking about this a bit more creatively, why don't South Africa dip all their rhino horn stock in a highly toxic and difficult to detect poison (something like polonium 210 would do the trick) and then sell it on the open market. This deals with all the rhino horn supply chain in one go and will certainly drop the demand for rhino horn...

  • Jacqueline - 2012-05-03 08:26

    No other measures are working. I believe this is our best and last shot.

  • B.Rabit - 2012-05-03 08:27

    Flood the market with Rhino Horns? are you kidding me? thats like saying ok we found 15 orphans. They got no where to go so lets sell them to some asians! ? WTF HOW STUPID IS THIS GOVERNMENT?

  • Phumi - 2012-05-03 08:30

    Let our people breed these animals and sell them. We already are the successfull breeders of cattle, sheep and other animals. The rhinos eat grass and plants and I believe they can be domesticated.

  • Blixum - 2012-05-03 08:30

    The comments on this forum are all hypothetical, based on assumptions of what might happen should it be legalised. Let me add my own hypo theory: Legalise the trade in rhino horn as it will ensure the survival of the species. A rhino can be de-horned about once every three years if I'm not mistaken. That means harvesting a horn five times during a life span of 15 years. Farmers will establish small armies to protect there rhinos as it has now become a commercial asset. This commercial value will be short term as it will now allow us time to educate the consumers of rhino horn that they are living in cloud cucoo as to the aphrodisiac effects of the horn. The commercial value will decline and nobody would want to buy horn again. Use the rhino's horn to fight for its own existence.