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Conservation Services

SANParks Corporate Investigation Services (CIS)

History

During 1994 Ken Maggs was transferred to the Anti Poaching Unit after the untimely and tragic death of Sam Fourie in 1993. At the time the Unit, comprising only Ken was based in Skukuza. The idea was that the Unit’s responsibilities would offer a support function in co-ordinating the anti-poaching actions for the Kruger National Park as a whole, collect poaching related intelligence and information and offer assistance in investigations as well as related court proceedings while the Section Rangers, backed by their Field Rangers would continue to act as the front line action against poaching activity as they had done ever since the establishment of the KNP. As a result of the ever increasing work load and expanding responsibilities Januario Cubai, a Field Ranger from Pretoriuskop joined the Unit in Skukuza during 1994 as a Field Officer. Januario’s veld knowledge and tracking ability was badly needed in the section especially in the follow-up operations at crime scenes. During March 1995 Frik Rossouw, an ex South African Police Services policeman stationed in the Pafuri area joined the team and started an office in Phalaborwa area to service the northern and far northern sections of the KNP. Frik brought with him a wealth of knowledge with regards criminal investigations, criminal law and court proceedings. He was later joined by Thampson Mokgalabone, an ex Field Ranger from Skukuza. Frik later was transferred to the Skukuza office in 1997 when Andrew Lumbe, also an ex member of the SAPS and a policeman joined the section and took over the Phalaborwa office from Frik. Sandra Snelling joined the section as administrative assistant in September 1997 and with her came expertise in computer programs, administration and the freedom to commit more time to operational needs. Oupa Manzini, later joined the Skukuza team as an Assistant Field during the same year.

During 1998 the SANParks Board took a decision to expand the responsibilities of the Anti Poaching Unit to include the co-ordination of the counter poaching strategy for all National Parks. Although there is very little poaching activity impacting on other Parks at present all efforts are being made to prepare these Parks for any such activity.

During 1999 the section changed its name from the Anti Poaching Unit to the Environmental Crime Investigation Services (ECIS). This was done to ensure that the sections responsibilities and activities expand into all aspects of environmental crime activities impacting on the SANParks and not just anti poaching. Due to its expanding mandate the section once again changed its name to the Corporate Investigations Service (CIS).

During the year 2000 the CIS expanded its operations into the Eastern and Western Cape areas by opening an office in Cape Town. Barry Paterson and Carl Nortier, both previously employed by SANParks in the Cape Peninsula National Park joined the team to take over the responsibilities for CIS operations in the southern parks region. It was also during this year that the CIS strengthened its KNP operational capabilities by openening an office in the Nelspruit. Pete Ratema and Kobus de Wet, both highly experienced SAPS personnel joined the team. Their much needed presence has helped boost the KNP operations. Kobus de Wet now manages the CIS KNP component.
During 2001 Mario Scholtz, a highly experienced and respected SAPS Officer attached to the Endangered Species Protection Unit joined the team and opened the CIS Pretoria office. He is now primarily responsible for all CIS operations in the northern parks region.