By Orlando Chauke
Community policing forums from villages that border on the Kruger National Park say the only way to win the war against poaching is to change the country's Constitution.
"We have tried everything. What we need now is a system that will come in the form of a change in government policy.
"Otherwise we will meet here and complain everyday but nothing will change," Godfrey Lesofi, the chairperson of the Phalaborwa community policing forum (CPF) said recently during a discussion on rhino poaching.
"Let us raise rhino life to be above that of human life and take away the rights of offenders to have representatives in court once they're arrested," he said.
According to him, the fact that rhino poaching suspects had legal representatives in court was one of the reasons that they got off scot-free even when they were guilty.
Speaking on behalf of SANParks, William Mabasa told forum members from both Mopani and Vhembe that the war against rhino poaching had become very sophisticated with big syndicates betting their money on rhino horns.
"We have the police, soldiers and rangers all over the park, but security structures alone cannot win this war without the involvement of the communities.
"Those in the know say rhino poaching has become one of the biggest syndicated crimes,where people sit down in offices in countries such as China and Vietnam to work out strategies on how to go about it," he said. More....