Each Friday Ayesha Cantor reports on pertinent rhino issues in Rhino Friday.
Greed! Power! Fraud, and many dead Rhino!
May justice prevail!
Compliments of Ayesha Cantor and her series Rhino Friday.
(The contributor is solely responsible for the following content)
(611 rhino lost this year to date according to OSCAP)
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when aeroplanes hit the Twin Towers, the Boxing Day Tsunami, when Lady Diana died etc…. ?
I remember clearly, four years ago, driving into the Kruger National Park , the start of a much anticipated holiday, the news tuned in on the radio, hearing how 10 South Africans had been arrested for rhino related crimes.
I remember the absolute shock and utter disbelief on hearing their names and occupations read out…..
Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris
Nylstroom Animal Clinic and Limpopo Wildlife Consultants.
Dr. Karel Toet
Dr Manie du Pleases
Karel’s wife, Marisa Toet was also arrested.
Koos Pronk, works for Karel, arrested in court.
Gys du Preez
Dewald Gouws – helicopter pilot.
Paul Matomela – farm worker.
( links regarding the case history etc are included at the end of this post )
In an affidavit signed by SAPS Colonel Johan Jooste it is stated that between June 2006 and September 2010, “hunters, agents or middlemen and the buyers started procuring rhinoceros on different game farms, wildlife parks and reserves across the country with the aim of dehorning them”.
With 3011 rhino poached in SA since beginning of 2010 – and 1164 arrests since 2010 – we hear very seldom of convictions and certainly not of ‘big wigs’ like these individuals.
After much too’ing & frowing, postponements, more postponements, court venue moved, the BIG DAY has finally arrived.
Monday 21 July 2014 sees these despicable individuals facing, lets hope, the full might of the law regarding their alleged rhino crimes.
More than 39 rhinos were killed on Groenewald’s farm, Prachtig the affidavit said.
Groenewald and another co-accused, Hermanus Rossouw, according to the affidavit, induced other farmers to dehorn or sell their rhino horns. Some of the rhinos were not killed, but were dehorned after being tranquillised by Toet and Du Plessis, the affidavit said.
Those rhinos that were killed were at first allegedly sold to a local butcher, but when this fell through, they were buried and later burnt on Groenewald’s farm.
Jooste’s statement said there was evidence of illegal dealing in elephant tusks and teeth.
According to the affidavit, a company, Valinor Trading cc, allegedly partially owned by Groenewald, was used to launder the money received from the illegal activities. “The payments for the rhinoceros that were being purchased as part of these illegal activities were made through the account of Valinor Trading cc.”
The 11 accused in the case face a total of 1 872 charges that relate to the killing of rhinos, racketeering, money laundering and dealing in rhino horn.
Assets to the value of R55 million belonging to Groenewald and four of the other accused were attached by the State.
This is not Groenewald’s first run in with the law. Groenewald is a former police officer and was discharged because of his ties to a car smuggling ring. Groenewald was arrested in Alabama in April 2010 for importing an unlawfully hunted leopard trophy. He was banned from the U.S. and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine as well as a $7,500 fee to the buyer in Alabama.
Via Melissa Weavind (Activists for Animals Africa) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Activists-for-Animals-Africa/240471556051796?ref=ts&fref=ts