The IFP welcomes the conviction of three rhino poachers in the Durban Magistrates Court on Monday, but laments the fact that the trial took 10 years to complete.
While we welcome the conviction of the three rhino poachers, we lament and condemn the fact that their trial has taken a decade to conduct. Rhino poaching in particular and wildlife poaching in general in South Africa is out of control and this is precisely why the Department of Justice and the Office of the Chief Justice must urgently look into the establishment of specialist wildlife criminal courts. These courts should be staffed by highly skilled wildlife crime prosecutors and magistrates.
Our justice system is not broken, it has substantively been eroded since 1994 and that is precisely why the IFP is calling for a ‘back to basics’ approach as regards the entire Justice Cluster.
Justice must be done and must be seen to be done swiftly and without delay.
We note that the sentencing of the rhino poachers has not yet been handed down, and without wishing to interfere in judicial independence, we hope that the guilty parties will receive the maximum possible sentences without possibility of parole.
Our government has failed the wildlife of South Africa, let’s hope that our courts therefore pronounce resoundingly for those who cannot speak.
Narend Singh MP
IFP Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs
083 788 5954