Rhino horn arrest welcome but concerns remain regarding stockpiles

Issued by Dave Bryant MP and Hannah Shameema Winkler MP –
04 Jul 2023 in News
  • The DA welcomes the arrest of one of the individuals involved in the theft of 51 rhino horns.
  • The highly publicised theft case has laid bare the lack of security measures to protect rhino horn stockpiles.
  • The DA remains committed to working tirelessly to bring justice to this matter.

The DA welcomes the arrest of an individual implicated in the theft of 51 rhino horns from a stockpile in the North West Province by the Hawks. However, urgent action is still required to retrieve the stolen horns which remain at large.

The DA’s efforts in publicly highlighting the case precipitated the swift action in this investigation which we do not believe would have been undertaken without our calls for action and accountability.

However, numerous questions remain over the efficacy of the security measures used to safeguard our rhino horn stockpiles and the internal controls.  We acknowledge the role our collective efforts play in safeguarding our wildlife and will continue to put pressure on the authorities to maintain transparency and accountability in these matters.

We further call upon Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to provide clarity on the auditing procedures that were in place prior to the theft. Was there an accurate count of the number of horns in safekeeping before this incident? And has a thorough audit been conducted to confirm that indeed, only 51 horns were stolen?

These are important questions that require answers, not just for the sake of transparency but to ensure the rectification of any procedural weaknesses. The theft of rhino horns fuels the illegal trade and contributes to the demise of a species already under severe threat.

At present, there are many unanswered questions for which Minister Creecy needs to account. We remain committed to working tirelessly to bring about the highest level of transparency, accountability, and justice in this matter.

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