The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) is conducting a coordinated and comprehensive operation to counter rhino poaching, which is a barbaric act against beautiful creatures which deserve our protection.
The main role players in this operation are the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African National Parks (SANParks), assisted by the intelligence community and other government departments such as the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
The area of focus for this specific operation, which began on 30 May 2011, is the Kruger National Park (KNP) as the majority of poaching incidents are taking place within the boundaries of the KNP.
We, as the NATJOINTS, are committed to providing a combating and prevention capacity through the deployment of a dedicated, integrated reaction capability. Dedicated resources for thorough investigations and speedy prosecutions have also been addressed.
The NATJOINTS is a structure mandated by Cabinet to coordinate major events and cross-cutting joint operations. The NATJOINTS managed all security related operations to secure, inter alia, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, the FIFA 2010 World Cup and the recent Local Government Elections.
On Friday, 3 June 2011 two alleged rhino poachers were arrested in the Kruger National Park shortly after two white rhino were shot and killed and their horns removed.
The two suspects, Gerson Khosa and Alli Nkuna, appeared in the White River court on Monday 6 June 2011 (one of them in absentia as he is under police guard in hospital). The two face charges of illegal hunting, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, theft, trespassing, attempted murder and a contravention of the Immigration Act. They will appear again on 13 June 2011 and both are still in custody.
The NATJOINTS was yesterday advised of at least two new rhino poaching cases – one on the farm Grootkoppe in Potchefstroom where the carcass of a white rhino with both horns chopped off was found and one at the Pilansberg Game Reserve, also a white rhino which had been shot and both horns chopped off. It was estimated that the offences took place about three to four weeks ago.
Rhino poachers, who are very well armed with heavy caliber weapons, will meet their match when encountering and daring to fire upon the joint capacity of the SAPS, SANDF and SANParks. We will also fight bail applications and lobby for stringent sentences against these criminals.
Brigadier Sally de Beer
Cell: 082 779 8658
Cell: 082 908 2692
Issued by: South African Police Service
8 Jun 2011