ANC sitting on secret Part 2 of KZN Rhino poaching report

27 Jul 2022 in Press Statements

Ongoing positive action against Rhino poaching now lies firmly in the hands of several senior KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) ANC members. This after the classified second part of the secret Rhino report was handed to them recently.

The information forms part of a reply by KZN EDTEA MEC, Ravi Pillay, (view here) in response to a written parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the provincial legislature.

Questions by the DA reveal that Conservation and Environmental Affairs portfolio committee Chairperson, Sthembiso Mshengu, as well as two Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) board members, have been furnished with the report.

Compiled some five years ago, the Task Team report into Rhino poaching was partially released to the DA after a Public Access to Information Application (PAIA) this year. Not only did it detail the ongoing slaughter of this critically endangered species, it also highlighted fundamental flaws in combating poaching in our province.

Deemed “highly confidential” and “top secret” – Part 2 of the report was however withheld. According to MEC Pillay, it has now been released to selected individuals. This latest volume allegedly details syndicates and individuals behind poaching syndicates and may also reveal corruption within Ezemvelo itself.

The time for cat and mouse games on this report has long passed and the DA will continue to fight for all reports and aspects of the fight to be presented to KZN’s multi-party provincial Conservation portfolio committee.

History has taught us there was a flurry of anti-poaching initiatives after the release of Part 1 of the report. The Conservation Committee must be given an opportunity to read and interrogate Part 2 and to make its own independent conclusions on whether Part 2 is indeed top secret.

Taxpayers – who are the true custodians of KZN’s rhino population – have elected representatives to speak for them in the KZN Legislature. The selective release of the Rhino Report, to some and not to the committee, undermines the very fundamentals of democracy.