In a recent article, a frustrated prosecutor in South Africa made a comparison that rhino poaching cases are treated similarly to shoplifting cases.
Prosecutor Ansie Venter has been working poaching cases in the heart of rhino country for six years. With a high conviction rate, things should be looking up. But instead Venter says “I think it’s still getting busier by the day, but our hands are virtually tied”.
Last December there were 38 poaching cases in the court in just one day in Skukuza!
South Africa IS the epicenter of the rhino poaching war, but does not have specific legislation designed to address rhino poaching. To say laws need to be strengthened and government needs to become more focused is an understatement. But when the DEA (Department of Environmental Affairs) refuses to even release poaching stats, due to being “too busy”, the incompetence leaves little hope of change from the current party.
In addition to stiffer sentences, Terri Stander, the shadow Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, believes this:
“I believe there are three key areas (to stop poaching):