Home conservation 40 SANParks employees sacked over rhino poaching

40 SANParks employees sacked over rhino poaching

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Criminal charges for poaching of rhinos were lodged against all 40 employees and one has since been convicted

File picture: Armand Hough

FORTY SANParks employees found guilty of being involved in rhino poaching have been dismissed, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has revealed.

She was responding to a parliamentary question on whether any SANParks staff were involved in the poaching of rhino for their horns.

“SANParks staff members have been involved in rhino poaching since 2009. In dealing with rhino poaching-related offences, SANParks runs a parallel process alongside the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA),” said Creecy.

“Firstly, employees are charged in line with the SANParks disciplinary policy and procedures. In terms of the SANParks disciplinary policy and procedures, poaching/unauthorised hunting and killing of animals fall under Category 1 offences, and employees found guilty of such are dismissed for the first offence. This internal disciplinary process was followed in respect of the 40 employees mentioned. Secondly, employees who are guilty of rhino poaching are also criminally charged by the NPA and the South African Police Service,” she said.

Criminal charges for poaching of rhinos were lodged against all 40 employees and one has since been convicted with a sentence of four years’ imprisonment or a R20,000 fine.

“Two years of the four-year sentence were suspended for five years. All other cases are still pending,” Creecy said.