SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations

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SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations

Post by Sprocky » Sun May 20, 2012 10:42 am

30th April 2012

South African National Parks (SANParks) is extremely disappointed in an article published by Beeld on Monday 30 April 2012 in which unfounded allegations of tension between SANParks Rangers, South African Police (SAPS) Special Tasks Force and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) were made. The allegations were made on the basis of a faceless so-called “sources” which relates to a shooting incident in the Kruger National Park (KNP) between a SANParks Ranger and SAPS Special Task force member in which both lost their lives.

Articles such as this one undermine the fight against rhino poaching in SANParks and South Africa as a whole. SANParks together with SAPS Special Task Force and SANDF have created a National Joints Operation team which has been effective in fighting poaching. This joint platform ensures operational effectiveness, safety and addresses any areas of mutual concern. The effectiveness of this structure is clearly evident in the number of joint operations carried out and successes achieved so far.

“SANParks wishes to put it on record that we have developed an excellent working relationship with both SAPS and the SANDF in the fight against rhino poaching. The teams working together have developed a winning combination, they have integrated well and they complement each other,” said Paul Daphne, Acting Head Communications, SANParks. “As a result of the combined effort 30 suspected armed poachers have been arrested in the KNP in 2012.”

It is worrying that Beeld continues to use dubious sources as fact. “This speaks directly to the integrity of the publication while the specific allegations in the article are sowing division and mutual distrust which could create tension and hamper the achievement of our common goal – defeating rhino poaching.”

Daphne said, “The forces are working well together and they are all saddened by the tragedy. An inquest has been opened to get to the bottom of the matter. It is therefore irresponsible of Beeld to start an unnecessary ‘gossip corner’ when families have lost their loved ones.”

Issued by:

Reynold Thakhuli,
GM: Media Liaison & Stakeholder Relations, SANParks,
Tel: (012) 426 5170, Cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail:

William Mabasa,
HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park.
Tel: 013 735 4363, Cell: 082 807 3919, email:

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Re: SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations

Post by iNdlovu » Sun May 20, 2012 10:43 am

I am not going to comment on the shooting incident because I have seen first hand how things can go pear shaped when people are under fire and until the inquest results are released there is absolutely no point in even trying to guess what happened. However I can not stop myself from commenting on the absolute drivel sprouted by members of SanParks management in their response to Beeld.

1) SANParks together with SAPS Special Task Force and SANDF have created a National Joints Operation team which has been effective in fighting poaching.

2) The effectiveness of this structure is clearly evident in the number of joint operations carried out and successes achieved so far.

3) The teams working together have developed a winning combination

Excuse me SanParks, but the scoreboard shows that you are not being effective nor winning the fight against Rhino poaching. The scoreboard shows the exact opposite. The fact that the DEA has to communicate your failures does not absolve you of the fact that you are pulling at straws and trying to convince yourselves and the public that you are making headway. Some arrests have been made I grant you, and well done, but the scoreboard shows that they make no difference to the pace at which our Rhinos in Kruger are being slaughtered. I have truly had enough of you passing the buck and not facing up to your own ineptitude at taking a good hard look at yourselves. You have some good honest rangers out there putting their lives on the line, but because of your lack of commitment to clear up issues of shocking management, you are an insult to their commitment.
1)The security at most of your gates is a joke.
2)Clear the staff villages of all non staff personnel
3) Enforce the rule of absolutely no vehicle movement anywhere in the park after gate closing times
4) Equip your rangers with effective tools (such as radios) to fight the battle, install tracking devises in your vehicles and if the budget is not there, cut your own bonuses and extravagant salaries
5)Take ownership of the scourge, don't pass on the responsibility to the DEA, you are the custodians of our Rhino
6)Swallow your pride and ask for effective help from the public, not just some pathetic requests for the public to report suspicious stuff. We want to get a lot more involved than that.
7) Those staff members that are totally incompetent at their jobs and show no commitment to doing the job right are just freeloaders and are probably not concerned about the poaching problem at all, in fact would not think twice of aiding and abetting poachers.....get rid of them
8) Instill a value of discipline all the way from the very top down to the lowliest ranks, (you just don't dry biltong on camp fences)
9) Realise that conservation is a calling, not a job and similarly flies in the face of commercialization.
10) Be honest with yourselves, your staff and the public.

Get these 10 commandments right and I for one will literally stick my neck out to support you in anyway that you ask. Continue the way you are and I have a duty to call for you to step down and let someone that can do the job take over.

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Re: SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations

Post by Richprins » Sun May 20, 2012 10:45 am

Herewith the Lowvelder of today, Front Page:

Two killed in Kruger Park shoot-out

An inquest docket has been opened due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the incident.

01 May 2012 | Nicolene Smalman

SKUKUZA - A policeman
and a game ranger were killed in mysterious circumstances during a shoot-out in the Kruger National Park (KNP) this weekend.

They were apparently taking part in Operation Rhino - a highly successful initiative which has resulted in several rhino poachers being arrested or killed. Specially trained policemen, soldiers of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and game rangers took part in the operation.

However, during a dramatic turn of events on Saturday morning, two of these law enforcers were killed. This was the first time that a policeman and ranger were killed while on the hunt for potential poachers.

Details are sketchy at this stage and even informed sources are keeping mum about what happened.

Col Vish Naidoo, police spokesman, said in a statement that a police official and SANDF member were conducting a search for potential poachers in the Tshokwane section of the KNP at 09:00 that day.

"They came under fire. The shooting resulted in the policeman being shot and killed. In return, the defence force member fatally wounded the shooter. It later emerged that the latter was in fact an on-duty SANParks game ranger," he said.

Naidoo would not release the name of the deceased police official. He was only willing to add that an inquest docket had been opened to determine the circumstances and cause of the incident. The story made headlines in other media yesterday and Naidoo said that some of the content was distorted and based on fabrication.

Mr William Mabasa, spokesman for the KNP, said that no fresh carcasses were found over the past weekend which could be linked to the shooting.

"These people were not poachers but security personnel who came from different bases to follow up on the same case. What happened was an accident. We will not release the name of the ranger until we have met with his family on Tuesday," he concluded.

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Re: SANParks disappointed at Beeld’s allegations

Post by Richprins » Sun May 20, 2012 10:47 am

Herewith the Beeld Article in Afrikaans:

Twee sterf in skietery in Kruger
2012-04-29 22:42

Elise Tempelhoff

’n Veldwagter en ’n polisieman is dood toe hulle en hul makkers in die Krugerwildtuin op mekaar losgebrand het terwyl twee of meer groepe glo op soek was na renosterstropers.

Kol. Vishnu Naidoo, nasionale polisiewoordvoerder en woordvoerder van die nasionale operasiesentrum wat op die been gebring is om renosterstropery hok te slaan, het gister gesê die polisieman is op slag dood.

Hy en ’n lid van die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag het eergisteroggend ’n pad naby die Mosambiekse grens te voet gepatrolleer toe daar naby Tshokwane, noordoos van Skukuza, op hulle losgebrand is.

Die polisieman is twee keer geskiet.

Die weermaglid het daarop in die rigting van die skote teruggeskiet. Die veldwagter is swaar gewond en het later aan sy wonde beswyk.

Volgens Naidoo het die weermaglid eers later agtergekom hy het ’n veldwagter doodgeskiet.

“Dit is steeds onduidelik wat presies gebeur het en waarom die veldwagter op die polisieman en die weermaglid geskiet het. Ons ondersoek nou die saak. In hierdie stadium is die weermaglid die enigste ooggetuie,” het Naidoo gesê.

Mnr. William Mabasa, woordvoerder van die Krugerwildtuin, het gesê daar was Vrydagaand gerugte van stropers wat sou toeslaan. Taakspanne is toe gestuur om spoor te sny en die stropers voor te lê.

Dit is ook onduidelik hoeveel groepe betrokke was by die soektog na die vermeende stropers.

Mabasa het gesê die afgelope 16 maande - sedert die renosterstropery aan die begin van 2011 in felheid toegeneem het - was daar 25 voorvalle van ’n oor-en weer-skietery in die wildtuin.

“Dit is die eerste keer dat ’n veldwagter en ’n polisieman doodgeskiet is.”

Tydens die vorige 25 voorvalle is stropers of vermeende stropers doodgeskiet of gewond,” het Mabasa gesê.

’n Betroubare bron het gesê die wildtuin is weens die veldtog teen stropery in ’n “oorlogsone” omskep.

“Mense uit verskillende groepe is saamgegooi om renosterstropers aan te keer. Honde word selfs al gebruik om die stropers te vang. Die atmosfeer is gespanne en die mense vertrou mekaar nie,” het hy gesê.

Volgens die bron weet net die veldwagters hoe om spoor te sny en stropers te agtervolg terwyl daar nou van die polisie en die weermaglede - wat nie hiervoor opgelei is nie - verwag word om dit ook te doen.

Daar is glo baie botsings tussen die groepe. Die bron het gesê hy meen die mense behoort almal dieselfde uniform te dra om ’n gees van samehorigheid en eensgesindheid te skep. Eenvormige opleiding is ook noodsaaklik.

Naidoo wou nie die oorledenes se name bekend maak nie omdat ’n geregtelik ondersoek aan die gang is.

Die polisieman was vermoedelik ’n lid van die polisie se spesiale taakmag wat opgelei is in stedelike terreuraksies en nie in guerrilla-oorlogvoering - soos wat glo tans in die wildtuin aan die gang is - nie. Die polisie wou dit nie bevestig nie.

Mabasa het verdere navrae na Naidoo verwys.

Mabasa het wel gesê geen stropers of stropery wat met dié voorval verband hou, is aangemeld nie.

Mnr. Albi Modise, woordvoerder van die departement van omgewingsake, het gesê die departement sal vandag die jongste syfers oor renosterstropery bekend maak.

Teen einde verlede week is 111 renosters in die wildtuin gestroop. Landwyd het die getal op 181 gestaan.

Basically the same story, except that the "source" adds that dogs are even being used to hunt the poachers, that the different groups are being thrown together and don't trust each other, and that they need to wear the same uniform.

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Headline Story in Phalaborwa Herald 25 May 2012

Post by Sprocky » Fri May 25, 2012 2:57 pm

Maybe we should be upset with SANParks' allegations!!! O**

This is the main news on the front page of the Phalaborwa Herald (25 May 2012) 0=


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