SA, Moz agree to cross-border hot-pursuit operations against rhino poachers

Pretoria - Police units are pursuing rhino poachers into Mozambique, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega revealed on Tuesday.

"Yes, we have a hot pursuit agreement, meaning that when... somebody crosses the border, we do have an agreement with Mozambique to follow through," she told journalists in Pretoria and Cape Town.

The border referred to is the one between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique.

"[Hot pursuits] are happening... They happen all the time," Phiyega said, declining to give details of how many such operations had taken place.

Asked what units were involved, she said these included the SA Police Service special task force, as well as its air wing, dog unit, and forensic unit.

"The hot pursuit agreement allows us to follow poachers across our own border," Phiyega said.

The briefing was called to inform the media on government's latest plans to protect the country's rhino from poaching.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said between January and 6 August this year, a total of 631 rhino were killed by poachers, 408 of them in the Kruger National Park.

She said rhino along the eastern boundary of the park would be moved to so-called strongholds outside the flagship reserve to protect them from poachers.

For their safety

"South Africa is considering a range of rhino strongholds, inclusive of national parks, provincial reserves, communal areas and private reserves," Molewa said.

She said her department was also looking at moving some rhino out of the country.

"Part of the translocation will include the Southern African Development Community, the SADC area in particular... We have already started discussions with Botswana, we are working with Zambia, we are working with other countries, but more intensely those two in particular."

SA National Parks large mammal ecologist Sam Ferreira said up to 500 rhino could be removed.

"If you want to give rhino a chance, you remove them from places where they have a high probability of being killed.

"The kind of numbers are based on sound ecological models... you can remove rhino up to roughly about 500..." he said.

mabandla.mkhize 2014-08-12 04:35:52 PM
that was long overdue my Gov, track them all over the world, it's high-time top crooks answer for the mess.
Nin Ja Kitty 2014-08-12 04:42:36 PM
This is wonderful news. Wish there was more that could be done in other sectors.
Foxiloxi 2014-08-12 04:44:33 PM
Rather than follow them over, just shoot to kill!! Simple as that!!
TC 2014-08-12 04:47:48 PM
Aag pleeze, stop the rhino-show. We are NOT impressed. We are not stupid. Apart from the empty words and nice photos there will be bugger-all action. There is no political will to stop rhino slaughtering. And there is suspicion that the plunderers are politically supported. You know it. We know it. Save us the rhino-media lies. We are not stupid.
Jamill Ahmed 2014-08-12 04:51:12 PM
Ya ya the time this take affect our rhino will be extinct
Sisie Indola 2014-08-12 04:54:42 PM
Okay so do they actually know where they are going - Kabok and Chokwe (poachers hideouts) - or is this just another publicity stunt.
Henderson 2014-08-12 05:14:21 PM
Good idea minister we have to protect the one horned animal for the sake of future generations and putting your name on the list of great african leaders such as mr Yoweri museveni,r.g Mugabe Kaunda Pallo Jordan Maite Mashabane Manto Msimang the list is endless
Nkanyiso Mdlalose 2014-08-12 05:19:14 PM
Its a bit late
Fred Smith 2014-08-12 06:39:29 PM
With hunting still a popular sport, why not introduce hunting licenses with a difference. The target game could be poachers and the hunters could be paid on a per head basis for poachers successfully hunted. Maybe there would be a demand for their bits as muti. I'm not serious of course, but still it's an idea.
Rory Neil Price 2014-08-12 08:13:42 PM
The old fence ensured that the only places one could get into SA was through a border post, now no fences and corrupt border officials means no border , and 100s of thousands of illegal immigrants