Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has welcomed the opening of the Skukuza Regional Court in the Kruger National Park. The Department says the establishment of a court focusing on rhino poaching will accelerate the turnaround time for prosecutions.
The Skukuza Regional Court in the Kruger National Park was established by the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) last week. This court will assist in combating rhino poaching-related offences.
"The opening of the Regional Court is one of the plethora of measures being taken in terms of the Integrated Strategic Management approach to combat rhino poaching. Having a Regional Court in Skukuza will ensure that the turnaround times for rhino poaching and related cases are expedited, thus making a significant contribution to tackling the illicit trade in rhino horn and any other related activities," said Molewa.
Molewa's spokesperson, Albi Modise, said rhino poaching has been declared a National Priority Crime and government continues to work as a team in the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros.
"This is a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary approach involving the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African National Parks, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Defence, the South African Police Service, the Hawks, the State Security Agency, the South African Revenue Service, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, as well as the provincial conservation authorities," said Modise.
Department's Albie Modise says: “We’re pleased with the developments and the opening of the Skukuza Regional Court. We believe the opening of this court will assist us with high profile cases.”
Modise said the court was opened by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and has been operational since 7 March 2017.
The court was officially inaugurated on 19 April 2017.
Current data shows that there was a decline in the number of rhinos poached last year compared to 2015. The war against rhino poaching is however still far from won and increased anti-poaching measures will continue to be implemented in the fight to protect South Africa's wildlife.
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