Former SANParks corporal arrested on poaching charges

Posted by Christi Nortier on 6 May 2019

A former corporal in the SANParks Rangers Services was arrested last week along with his accomplice on charges of poaching.

The two were arrested in the Tshokwane Section of Kruger National Park on 1 May 2019. Poaching equipment, a high calibre hunting rifle and ammunition were found on the scene, reports SANParks.

Once charges have been filed, the suspects will appear in court.

The former corporal was dismissed from SANParks in 2014 after a disciplinary process on unrelated charges.

According to SANParks, it has been after him for some time.

‘We are happy that he has been captured and we will wait for the law to take its course. We call on the justice system to consider the severe damage that is being done by criminals, not only to the sustainability of our rhino populations but also the long-term threat to the tourism industry of this country and mete out harsh sentences,’ said the Managing Executive of Kruger National Park, Glenn Phillips.

The day after these arrests, Malelane rangers, the Kruger National Park K9 Unit and the Airwing arrested another two suspected poachers. They also found a heavy calibre hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment on the scene.

So far this year there have been five arrests of field rangers and one arrest of a park official in Kruger National Park who have been suspected of poaching.

‘It is always very sad when your own staff become involved in poaching, however I want to congratulate the SANParks and SAPS investigators for their diligent work in bringing these members to book. Slowly but surely we are coming to grips with people within our ranks who are sabotaging our efforts in this campaign.

‘We still have confidence in those who are committed and loyal; and would like to encourage them to continue the excellent work. We will not be deterred in ensuring that we are successful in continuing the fight against the scourge of wildlife crime in KNP,’ said Phillips in the wake of the arrest of three field rangers in January in the Kruger National Park.

There are 22 different ranger sections in Kruger National Park. Their responsibilities are to patrol their section to detect and apprehend poachers, communicate with communities bordering the park, run specific conservation programmes, oversee tourists’ adherence to the law, maintain infrastructure like fences, eradicate alien plants, and report on the health of river systems.

 

Feature Image: Ronald Glasscoe/Pixabay

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