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Scam Watch opening letter by the SANParks CEO

30 January 2013

It has come to our attention that a lot of people have been jumping on the rhino poaching and anti-poaching bandwagon for various reasons, of which the one we are concerned with in this page is the criminal intent. There are individuals and syndicates which have tried to exploit the current heightened awareness around rhinos to either try to create illegal fundraising schemes or to sell bogus rhino horns to unsuspecting and gullible people with possibly criminal tendencies themselves. 

This page is aimed at warning the honest member of the public from possibly being duped into parting with their well-earned income in a bogus scheme to extort money from them. It is also an attempt to make the public aware that these particular schemes have nothing to do with SANParks or its honest employees. Further, I want to make a heartfelt and strong appeal to any members of the public who have information on SANParks employees or any other people who are involved in poaching to please give this information to the police or our investigators.

It is important to also warn members of the public to be alert and weary at all times of people who are intent on using the public to achieve criminal ends. There is a disturbing and potentially problematic trend which has been emerging over the years where sometimes the people who seem to care have through their actions been indirectly defeating the ends of justice by prematurely releasing information that could aid and abate criminals and also share details of ongoing investigations, thereby affecting and influencing the decisions of the courts against conservation efforts to combat poaching. We want to encourage people who know of people that are using public or social media platforms to divert focus and attention away from poachers and their activities to report these to the available investigative and reporting authorities. The success of the campaigns and efforts against rhino poaching are dependent on the collective and individual contributions of all of us.

Please report or forward any information you have to the following areas:

South African National Parks (SANParks):

Mario Scholtz on 27 (012) 4265018, 

Kobus de Wet on 27 (013) 7355109, 

CRIMESTOP: 08600 1011

CRIMELINE: 32211 (SMS Line)

I want to thank all those who have made a positive contribution in the fight against rhino poaching and wish you unending strength and enthusiasm in helping us and South Africa to fight against the decimation of our beautiful wildlife.

Yours in the fight against poaching,
Dr David Mabunda (PHD)
Chief Executive Officer
South African National Parks (SANParks)

View the SANParks Scam Watch page