By Winile Masinga [Admin note; First item on page\
Mbabane businessman Walter Bennett has strongly condemned the act of shooting and killing of poachers by game rangers. Speaking to the Swazi Observer yesterday, Bennett said he acknowledges very well that it is wrong for people to poach on game, but said that is no licence for rangers to shoot and kill human beings. He said justice dictates that poachers too must be charged and tried before a court of law, but he said that is not what is currently happening. Bennett was reacting to the news of the death of a 21 year old man of Sigcaweni who was shot and killed by game rangers at Mkhaya Game Reserve. He said game is worthy of protection but human beings must not be shot and killed in cold blood in the process. He said he was not going to deny the fact that some people poach on game, which is protected by law, and that is a punishable offence, but justice must prevail at all times. He said he was going to engage the chairman of the Human Rights Commission over the shooting of people by game rangers, with the intention of finding a positive solution to the current situation. disappointed“I am very disappointed with the government on this. We need to bring an end to such scenarios where animals are spared at the expense of human lives. These animals are of value to us but, there must be a balance. “The continued shooting of people will end up creating a division among the Swazi people,” Bennett sternly warned. “Game poaching is a crime but the killing of human beings willy-nilly is even worse,” he emphasised. Further, Bennett said as much as he does not know the cause of Thembinkosi’s death, all he knows is that he started falling ill after the shooting which also cost him his eyesight. He further expressed disappointment that since the shooting, not even a single individual has been brought before the law. He said the punishment must equal the crime and still people must not be persecuted because that is unconstitutional. “Persecution of people is unconstitutional, but people continue to be persecuted and no one is taken to task for that. The punishment must equal the offence committed,” he said.Thembinkosi Ngcamphalala was shot in a shootout that took place at Mkhaya Game Reserve that claimed another ranger’s life who died on the spot.