Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

ZCTF Report 11th July 2012

ZCTF Report 11th July 2012


Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. 

Cree Indian Prophecy

6th July 2012
6 suspected armed poachers were cornered by 2 game rangers at Robins Camp in Hwange National park last week. The poachers managed to escape leaving 22 elephant tusks at the scene. The rangers opened fire on them which resulted in an exchange of gunfire.

Police and rangers have been deployed from Sinamatella and Main Camp to look for carcasses in the national park area and also to try and track down the poachers.

About 500 Zanu PF supporters recently invaded Ruware Ranch, one of the richest wildlife sanctuaries in the Lowveld. Ruware Ranch is part of the Chiredzi River Conservancy. The invaders, led by a war veteran known as Comrade Shorty, were reportedly accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement. Shorty stated that they were not invading the land. He said it was acquired through the Ministry of Lands 12 years ago and was just waiting for redistribution. A source in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement said that they had been pressured by top government officials to distribute the land ahead of the elections. An MDC Member of Parliament stated it was a tactic used by Zanu PF for buying votes through land distribution, violence and rigging. He also questioned the logic of distributing that land 12 years after it had allegedly been acquired.
Chinese mining firms have sprouted in the wildlife area, extracting coal and prospecting for other minerals. The Hwange/Gwayi Conservation and Tourism Association was recently forced to call a stakeholders’ meeting to find a solution to the illegal Chinese mining activities which have resulted in massive pollution of rivers and are threatening to upset the flora and fauna. After a proper analysis, they established that there would be greater value in preserving the area as it is rather than allocating it for coal mining activities. One of the Chinese mining companies was recently fined $1000 by the Environmental Management Agency for mining coal without an Environmental Impact Assessment certificate. The area now occupied by the miners had previously served as a corridor between Hwange National Park, the Forestry Commission, the Gwayi Intensive Conservation Area and the Binga Conservation Area. Removing the corridor would obstruct the free movement of animals like the Presidential Elephants. Attempts to establish if the government gave the Chinese mining rights in Gwayi have proved fruitless.
There are many suitable venues to hold a New Year party and yet people persist in holding them in areas reserved for wildlife. A 48 hour New Year party is currently being organised to take place on an island in the Zambezi River in front of Tiger Safaris. The organiser, Campbell Carruthers, claims to have received permission from National Parks although National Parks state that they have not yet granted permission for the party to go ahead.

The live bands will disrupt the entire waterfront and both Zambian and Zimbabwean lodges will be affected. The organisers of the party are hoping to attract 3000 people. All the lodges in Chirundu are already fully booked for that period so where would all these additional people stay and where would they perform their ablutions? According to the advertisement, portable toilets will be placed on the island but how many times will these toilets have to be emptied if they are being used by 3000 people and where will they be emptied? Into the river? How much litter will be thrown into the river during the event?

The island has large quantities of reeds and is home to many species of birds. At least 4 crocodiles and a pod of hippos are resident and elephants often frequent the island. A party of this magnitude will disturb if not destroy the ecosystem on the island and the safety of the party goers is also a concern. There is a very real danger of drownings and animal attacks.

We appeal to the National Parks department to do the right thing and refuse to allow this party to take place.

We have received reports that an undisclosed number of elephants have been shot in Tsholotsho, North West of Bulawayo. It is alleged that the shooting has been carried out by a hunter accompanied by an ex National Parks warden.
R55 million assets seized from poachers
Pretoria, 9 May 2012

The joint security forces including the Endangered Species of the Hawks, the NPA, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs and the curators made a huge stride in our undying effort to thwart rhino poaching in South Africa.

This team has seized assets in the region of R55 million, believed to have been acquired through criminal activities, particularly rhino poaching from Dawie Groenewald (above), two veterinary surgeons, Drs Karel Toet and Manie Du Plessis.

In September 2010 the aforementioned accused were officially charged with 1872 counts of racketeering which makes it one of the biggest wildlife cases in South Africa. While this matter is still pending in court, the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act allows the Asset Forfeiture Unit to seize and preserve the assets of an accused until the case is finalized. On conviction of an accused, the seizure is realized and these proceeds are then used to continue with the combating of crime

The joint security forces which also includes the SAPS, SANDF and SANPARKS have worked tirelessly over the years to bring rhino poachers to book. Since January this year 99 people were arrested for rhino related matters country wide. It is imperative to mention these cases to indicate the extent of the problem of rhino poaching.


January 2012
A Zimbabwean citizen Rogers Mukwene was arrested for the illegal possession of three rhino horns in Kameeldrift, Pretoria. During the investigation it became known that he is a convicted rhino poacher in Zimbabwe. The rhino horns were later traced to a poaching incident at Dinaka Game Reserve in the Mookgopane district two weeks prior to his arrest.

Rogers Mukwene’s brother was arrested for bribery. This happened after he offered to pay the investigation officer R10 000-00 for the release of Rogers Mukwene on bail.

Thabazimbi, Limpopo Lucas Malema and Lucas Novela were arrested for attempting to poach rhino on a game farm. They were found in possession of a 375 hunting rifle as well as a 9mm pistol.

Assen, (North West): Manual Simango, Lucky Baloyi, Andries Mhlanga, Mr Ratshivhombelia, Deon Nkozi were arrested for the illegal possession of a 5,57 firearm and 2 x vehicles recovered while they were attempting to poach rhino on a game farm.

Upington, Northern Cape : Than Dolwetu Nicolas Mduduma was arrested for the illegal possession of rhino horn.

Vaalwater, (Limpopo): Bandam Manyaradzi (Zimbabwean), Goodman Molambo (Zimbabwean) and Oupa Jan Majadibodu were arrested for conspiracy to illegally hunt rhinos, theft of a firearm, theft of a 2-way police radio, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as unlawful possession of dangerous weapons.


February 2012
In Beestekraal, North West Province, Lucky Selepe, Manhique Eliasse Themba @ Manyeka a Mozambique citizen, Mathussi Alberto John (a Mozambican citizen) were arrested for attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm. A .3006 rifle and 4 rounds plus an axe were recovered.

Masoyi, (Mpumalanga): William Lakote, William Shabone and Isaac Fakude and Ciswe Ngobe were arrested for attempting to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park. One firearm was recovered.

Mhala, (Mpumalanga): Jeffrey Hlabana was arrested and one firearm recovered when he attempted to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park

Kabokwene, (Mpumalanga): Elvis Tulani Nonyani and Tholi Jordaan Ndlovu were arrested with a LM5 (223) rifle and 25 rounds in an attempt to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park.

Klaserie, (Limpopo): Happy Solomon Nyathi, Dlaweleni Joseph Nyalungu and Mafanyani Mario Helton Sibia were arrested with a 375 firearm while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm.

Manyaleti, (Limpopo): Abraham Given Nyathi, Dennis Oros Makhubela and Jimmy Mkansi were arrested with a .303 rifle, bow saw and butchers knife while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm

Assen, (North West): Alex Nyatlo, Karaboe Phetoe, Zola Ngijima, Nduduzi Khanile and Lebitia Japie Sedie were arrested while attempting to hunt rhino on a game farm.

Pretoriuskop, (Mpumalanga): Abrey Mnisi and Pride Nkuna were arrested with a .3006 rifle while attempting to hunt rhino in the Kruger National Park.

Sabie Sands, (Mpumalanga): Moosa Hlanane, Proby Nyathi, Devine Nyathi and Sam Mlotshwa were arrested while attempting to hunt rhino on the game reserve.

Pretoriuskop, (Mpumalanga): Duncan Solomon Mnisi, Doctor Mbuso Ngwenyama, Charles Heartered Mabunda and Tiyani Mabunda were arrested for the illegal hunting of rhino in the Kruger National Park. All four were SANParks employees. After a lengthy bail application hearing bail was eventually denied to all four.

In Kempton Park, (Gauteng): Hui Chen was arrested for the illegal possession of rhino horn, elephant ivory curios and hippo tusk to the value of R 30 000.

Kempton Park, (Gauteng) : QiFeng Chen and Han Ji Gui were arrested for dealing in rhino horns in Kempton Park.


March 2012
One on the most prominent and notorious syndicates led by Joseph Nyalunga and 8 others were arrested on the 2 March 2012 outside Hazyview. During the operation over R 5 million rand in cash was seized from his house in Mhulu, hidden in a trunk in his garage. Several firearms, knifes and vehicles were seized from the suspects.

A Chinese syndicate responsible for the buying of rhino horns in Bruma Lake was disrupted by the Hawks. Four Chinese nationals were arrested and charges of racketeering are being brought against them. The value of their operation is estimated at R 3 Million. The accused are still in custody.

In middle March an operation was conducted by all Interpol countries with the aim to curb rhino horn smuggling. In South Africa a combined effort from The Hawks, Interpol, National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs, NPA, NATJOINTS and SARS was conducted. Inspections were done at taxidermists, freight agencies, airports, borders, game farms and road blocks were held at key areas and searches were conducted. This resulted in the arrest of Kevin Cooper for the illegal possession of 15 rhino horns and 6 elephant tusks. 15 homesteads in the Mkuze, Ulundi, Mahlabatini, Melmoth, Ubombo that were linked to rhino poachers were searched. R500 000-00 worth of wildlife products 8 firearms were seized and 8 suspects arrested.

In Bethlehem, (Free State) Nicolaas Erasmus, Benjamin Coetzee and Stephanus Fourie were arrested for the illegal dealing in two rhino horns. The matter was postponed for to a later date in May 2012.

In Hoopstad (Free State) Christoffel Jacobus Lombard, Eugine Petrus van der Merwe and William Theuns Jooste were arrested and charged with possession of M99; Illegal entry upon land with a weapon; conspiracy to commit a restricted activity and fraud. The case has been postponed to 25 May 2012 for further investigation.

These cases depict the widespread challenge of rhino poaching. On the other hand, the efforts of the joint security forces should be acknowledged because several accused were caught as they were attempting to poach rhino. It is against this backdrop that we welcome the seizure of assets and call for assets of every person arrested to be scrutinized and where possible, seized. The seizure of the assets of rhino poaching accused is what we believe will hurt the most. Generally, those that commit such crimes will serve their sentences but still come back to a life of luxury by by seizing assets, criminals have no worldly possessions to enjoy and this certainly helps send out a clear message that crime does not pay.

Thus far the Endangered Species Unit within the HAWKS have secured a total of 10 convictions amounting to a consolidated total of 111 years imprisonment in respect of these 10 accused.

The above convictions highlight successes during 2012. However for the period February 2011 to March 2012 convictions followed in 8 cases for the illegal possession of rhino horns, convictions were obtained in 4 cases for the illegal dealing in rhino horns and convictions for the illegal hunting of rhinos were obtained in 6 cases. In only 8 of these cases the accused sentenced to a fine. However in 12 of these cases the accused were sentenced to direct imprisonment without an option of a fine.

Only 7 accused had been acquitted during this period.


Court roll status
Currently 57 cases are on the court roll in which 161 accused are charged. 65 of these accused are held in custody while 96 accused have been released on bail.

Vishnu Naidoo – Colonel

National Media Centre
Corporate Communication

South African Police Service
Office:            +2712-400 6573      
Cell: 082 567 4153
Fax: +2712-400 7018
E-mail: [email protected]
Global List: Media Centre
Statement issued by Albi Modise, Department of Environmental Affairs, May 7 2012.

09 May 2012 – 08:26 – By Karin Labuschagne





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