University of South Africa (Unisa) Professor Moses Montesh says a political solution involving neighbouring and Asian countries is needed to help South Africa win the war against rhino poaching.
Montesh addressed the International Association of Women Police (IWAP) in Durban. He says in Mozambique poaching is seen as only a misdemeanour. "So until such a time when political decisions are made to say, you know what, this is it. And then convince the Mozambican population to say this is how we deal with the problem. And remember we spoke about three things in poaching: there is a high level of unemployment in Mozambique."
Montesh presented the findings of his 2012 study to delegates at the International Association of Women Police in Durban. He pointed out that in Mozambique, poaching is seen as only a misdemeanour. At the same time Mozambicans are of the opinion that South Africa has a shoot-to-kill policy in the Kruger National Park, which is bearing the brunt of the poaching.
Montesh says these divergent views pose a challenge to co-operation. So far this year South Africa has already lost 688 rhinos to poachers, exceeding 2012's loss of 668 rhino. Montesh says Vietnam is still the biggest consumer country of poached rhino horn.
A delegation of Vietnamese officials visited Kruger National Park last week to see the carnage of rhino poaching first hand. Montesh told IWAP delegates the South African government had advised him during his research last year not to visit Vietnam as relations between the two countries were too strained at the time.