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Media Release: SANParks deplores racism incident in Kruger National Park

Date: 13th January 2011

Following an alleged racism incident between visitors in the iconic Kruger National Park (KNP) during the festive season, South African National Parks (SANParks) – the countries body charged with the management of national parks including the KNP strongly condemns the incident and promise to leave no stone unturned in dealing with the matter.

This according to the General Manager: Media & Stakeholder Relations at SANParks, Reynold Thakhuli, who said his organisation strives to make the National Parks the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world… “a fact enshrined in the vision statement of SANParks.”

He said racism has no place in this country let alone in National Parks as these are areas where people are supposed to find a common place and being. “SANParks takes this incident very seriously and will do everything in our power to ensure that incidents of this nature do not occur in future.”

Thakhuli also confirmed that internal investigations are underway following the initial complaint received from one of the visitors involved in the brawl. “These will include the alleged attitude of a staff member whom the matter was reported to and should anyone be found guilty, corrective measures will be taken against the individual and attempts will also be made to contact all affected people.”

He said it is also important to follow the rules of the national park as disembarking from a vehicle could result in attacks from wild animals.” People need to follow and obey the rules, it should be remembered at all times that most national parks are in the wilderness, any movement from human beings especially outside the vehicle, poses a danger to their lives as wild animals might feel threatened and react to protect themselves.”

This festive season few incidents including speeding were reported and a decline in fines relating to traffic offences were recorded during the holiday time. “This is an indication that more and more people are becoming aware of the rules and they are actually acting responsibly.”

According to Thakhuli visitors to the park who would like to report any unbecoming behavior can do so at any entry gate or by getting in contact with our 24-hour emergency line on (013) 735 4325 / 076 801 9679.

For more previous media statements, please visit www.sanparks.org

Issued by:
SANParks Corporate Communications

For Media Enquiries:
Reynold Thakhuli, GM: Media, Events & Stakeholder Relations, Tel: (012) 426 5203 / 073 373 4999, e-mail: reyt@sanparks.org

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