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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:09 pm 
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I don't want to reply to all the comments made by the gentlemen above, but one thing stands out. Almost everybody refers to SANParks on the one hand and employees on the other hand. Who is SANParks? Is it implied that the staff are outsiders and not part of the broader SANParks community. Who must investigate the alleged illegals? Is it Wanda? Is it Lesego? Or is it Dr Mabunda? Or is it suggested that a commission of inquiry should look into the matter? What is implied is that the staff cannot be trusted to report any illegal activity. A slap in the face, me thinks. Again, come up with evidence. If it is true, then I will be the first one to scream that action be taken.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:13 pm 
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threedogs wrote:
Shingwedzi was not the camp in question regarding the poaching allegation.

Not?
I can only judge by what was posted on this forum:
Quote:
"During the excellent work done by various agencies in evacuating both tourists and staff from various camps or compounds during the recent floods in Kruger National Park, some shocking discoveries were made.

To my knowledge the only Shingwedzi was evacuated?

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Just an interesting observation on my part; one of the stories doing the rounds on a forum that also posted the exact same allegations OSCAP did (who posted theirs (OSCAP) as if they had been given the info from 'secret sources'), was the evacuation, and stuff found, was in Skukuza staff village. Now any one reading the reports during the floods and looking at the pics coming out of the rescues, would know Skukuza was not evacuated ....

So now, must SANParks also take that seriously and go and investigate and clear out the whole village? On a post on a forum :?

It amazes me how quickly people want to find fault with SANParks - they do not even use common sense to think about what they read sometimes in the rush to bash SANParks and spread the rumours. Also how quickly they will bash wanda and/or Dr Mabunda for eg, and say 'they' do not care. How many of these folk have met wanda? How many have listened or read writings of Dr Mabunda? Or met him? On what is all this bashing based? Is it what is read on social media, or is it based on fact and personal knowledge of the folk they bash :?

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Rooies wrote:
What is implied is that the staff cannot be trusted to report any illegal activity. A slap in the face, me thinks. Again, come up with evidence. If it is true, then I will be the first one to scream that action be taken.

Exactly Rooies! :clap: :clap:

I will not rule out and I'm sure SANParks will not either, that there might be bad apples in the box but to tar and feather all the staff in Kruger is ridiculous. 99% of them are dedicated, nature loving people, like everyone on this forum. They are also concerned with poaching just like all of us, just they have to deal with it on a daily basis.

That is the sad side of something like this.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:29 pm 
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JenB wrote:
Rooies wrote:
What is implied is that the staff cannot be trusted to report any illegal activity. A slap in the face, me thinks. Again, come up with evidence. If it is true, then I will be the first one to scream that action be taken.

Exactly Rooies! :clap: :clap:

I will not rule out and I'm sure SANParks will not either, that there might be bad apples in the box but to tar and feather all the staff in Kruger is ridiculous. 99% of them are dedicated, nature loving people, like everyone on this forum. They are also concerned with poaching just like all of us, just they have to deal with it on a daily basis.

That is the sad side of something like this.


I haven't read into anything posted on here the implication that honest staff can't be trusted to report any illegal activity. Did I miss that?

Maybe some people need to take the blinkers off? Regardless of this issue or non-issue as the case may be; as soon as anyone starts to question the Sanparks response, albeit in a very well mannered way, it is like one has put an electric cattle prod to a open nerve. Can we not EVER question anything Sanparks does without the histrionics?

Can anyone shed light on my earlier question thanks?

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 pm 
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As far as I know, no-one tarred and feathered all the staff. The allegations may or may not be true. The point is that staff villages and quarters are certainly vulnerable to this sort of thing. No-one is accusing anyone in particular but it makes good sense to take note.


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:46 pm 
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@threedogs. Perhaps my understanding of the English language differs from yours, but let me sum it up for you.

Allegation; Illegal foreigners were found in a camp.
Reaction; Nothing was reported.
Allegation; Why don't you investigate.
Implication; We don't trust what you are saying. We need proof that there are none. We don't trust the staff's word. The staff may fear for their lives and therefor did not report it.

What other implications do you need?

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Rumour based reporting is cheap, it requires little effort and unfortunately relies on that part of human nature that loves to hear about the dark side of life. fact or fiction. It will always attract those who for their own reasons love to hear negative things about others.

I think most of us have experienced the harm done by the speed and distortions of rumours spread by nameless people.

But never mind, there are still more people out there who are actually doing good, actually working hard to help solve problems. A good example among many is a forum member who spent her holiday as an HR helping Sanparks in the KNP during the Holiday season. And the HR who has devoted her entire life to Sanparks. She works full time for Sanparks as a volunteer.

What's the old saying? "Talk is cheap, money buys the whiskey"

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Last edited by Hawk on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:04 pm 
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I am a simple soul and there are a few things I don't understand.

1. Why don't OSCAP co-operate with SANP at a high level, instead of using the questionable facebook. After all they are BOTH committed to anti rhino poaching, aren't they?
2. Why must you investigate wild accusations of those who appear to be trying to discredit you?
3. Why don't SANP do random checks on the gate staff to ensure entry and exit standards are being maintained, or do they.
4. Why don't SANP initiate a zero tolerance to ANYONE policy, where public complaints are verified. This includes speeding cabinet ministers, and those who think they are important. They should be informed to toe the line before entering any SANP, or don't come.
5. Why not use unofficial 'hot pursuit' tactics to 'fetch' poachers who escape into neighbouring territories. After all they are breaking the law and crossing the border illegally in the absence of official customs. If they 'stray' across an unmarked border, who knows where it is?
6. As a taxpayer, I object to subsidising the prison and legal costs of poachers. A massive fine should accompany the lengthy jail sentence to pay for it.

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Last edited by Bush Baptist on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Hawk wrote:
What's the old saying? "Talk is cheap, money buys the whiskey"

Ohh man.. I am doing something wrong cause I have waaay to little whiskey...

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:29 pm 
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The facebook way of "bringing this to someone attention" is not 100% on the up. It leaves questions to be asked.

I do not believe that SANPARKS for one second would not have looked into this. It would be stupid not to.
As far I saw from Lesego's reply SANPARKS found only mud filled personal possessions which would indicate that there was at the least inspection of the staff village.

So far not a single of these things have been substantiated or proven by either the people making the allegations or SANPARKS. It would be very dumb to think SANPARKS wouldn't have checked out the allegations.

People are right to be concerned. But the same people also have to be aware that rumors are sometimes just that... RUMORS...

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Baffers wrote:
People are right to be concerned. But the same people also have to be aware that rumors are sometimes just that... RUMORS...


Or even rumours............. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Baffers wrote:
People are right to be concerned. But the same people also have to be aware that rumors are sometimes just that... RUMORS...


Or even rumours............. :twisted:


Only if they get bigger do they become rumours. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:44 pm 
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sorry... PC is set to american... No english.
My bad

Told you I am not getting enough Whiskey!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Allison Thomson's letter:

The Board of Directors 28 January 2013
Sanparks SA

Sirs,

Re: Social Media commentary on alleged findings in SANParks staff quarters.

I was made aware of certain allegations concerning the above that had been posted on a public website called AFRICA WILD a copy of the screen dump is attached herewith for ease of reference.

I re-posted the information that was given to me onto my social media page known as OSCAP some 12 hours after it was already in the public domain.

Upon careful reflection and in the light of the understandably deep concerns that the above has caused, I am of the considered opinion that I should not have simply accepted the assurances I was given about the validity of the source and its contents.

I am not in a position to personally confirm any of the allegations as they appear and as such I hereby tender my apology both personally and on behalf of OSCAP, to the Board of SANParks and its employees and hereby retract the post from the group.

I regret the consternation and anguish so caused and wish to reassure the Board of SANParks as to OSCAP’s support for all your efforts to protect our rhino and wildlife heritage.

Kind regards

Allison Thomson


REF: GKL/HOC/29/01/13
Date: Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Media Release
For immediate Release

SANParks WELCOMES THE APOLOGY AND RETRACTION BY OSCAP

South African National Parks (SANParks) has received and welcomed a letter of apology from Allison Thompson of Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching (OSCAP) regarding unproven allegations levelled against SANParks and its employees in the OSCAP Facebook Page on the 26 January 2013.
In accepting the apology from OSCAP the SANParks Head of Communications, wanda mkutshulwa, said “We unreservedly accept and welcome the apology by Ms Thompson and OSCAP. We also appreciate the positive gesture this letter of apology contains as this will go a long way in encouraging South Africans to work towards jointly coming up with solutions to protect our rhinos”.

Ms mkutshulwa further said that it is important that the public understands that SANParks would not like to stifle debate on difficult issues facing the organisation, however, a little moderation and checking of facts is required at all times before public statements are made.
SANParks further requests members of the public to please report all information of wrong doing to the correct authorities so that appropriate action can be taken to stop these criminals from further exploiting our national heritage.

SANParks is also announcing a new page that will be created in its website by the 30 January 2013 which will be called „Scam Watch‟. “The purpose of this website page is to alert the public on possible scams, related to rhinos and other areas, that are doing the rounds in a bid to extort money from members of the public and to possibly harm them. This will not be an interactive page like our website forum but will be a place where people can read on the latest scams as well as send information to SANParks on any other new scams that might have been created by these criminals”, said mkutshulwa.

“We urge everyone to use the Crimestop, Crimeline and our investigator‟s numbers posted on this website page to report wrong doing and to help us apprehend criminals before they do damage to our parks and our heritage”.

Issued by: SANParks Corporate Communications
For media enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli – SANParks, General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations; Tel: (012)4265203, Mobile: (073)3734999 / (072)39051564 or e-mail: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org
wanda mkutshulwa – SANParks, Head of Communications ; Tel: (012)4265170, Mobile (082)9082692 or e-mail: wanda.mkutshulwa@sanparks.org

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