In an early morning raid a joint task team comprising of members from SANparks (South African National Parks), South African Polica and other conservation authorities, has yielded a significant success in relation to rhino poaching. The team simultaneously swooped on rhino poachers in the Polokwane, Musina and Modimolle areas, arresting nine people.
Dawie Groenewald and his wife, Sariette, who run "Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris", a hunting outfit based in South Africa, were amongst those arrested in South Africa in connection with rhino poaching. They were arrested along with a professional hunter, Tielman Erasmus, 2 veterinarians, Dr Karel Toet and Dr Manie du Plessis, and Toet's wife, Marisa.
Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris have been linked to unethical and illegal hunting for several years and were banned from hunting in Zimbabwe in 2004.
The raids were in response to a recent uproar around the callous massacre of rhinoceros at various game parks and farms around South Africa in the last few years. From January this year to date, two hundred and four (204) Rhinos were mercilessly killed compared to one hundred and twenty two (122) for the whole of last year, which is indicative of the enormity of the problem.
Many weeks of investigation by the team resulted in the arrest of a businessman, two veterinarians, the spouses of the businessman and one of the vets and 4 other members of the syndicate. The businessman and the vets are alleged to have been involved in several hundred incidents of Rhino poaching over the past years and they are considered to be masterminds the syndicate. These incidents relate to the actual killing of the animals, selling and dumping of carcasses, etc. More....