By James Masango MP, DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader:
With Rhino poaching on the rise it is crucial for South Africa’s fight against the epidemic to be supported by foreign personalities who bring exposure to the problem.
It is encouraging to see that Britain’s Prince Harry has provided his support in the fight against wildlife crime, on a recent visit to South Africa. The DA welcomes this royal endorsement for our fight against poachers.
The DA invites other international personalities to follow suit. Our invitation is to welcome and host personalities who are committed to this fight, in Mpumalanga, and to work together to highlight the illegal slaughter of our rhinos and other game. The DA extends this open invitation in the spirit of preserving our national treasures, and using all available means to do so.
Efforts by government to curb poaching at the Kruger National Park are proving to be challenging. Although there have been a number of arrests and some prosecutions, there is a need for greater public awareness, stiffer sentencing of rhino poachers, and for speaking out against the use of rhino horns.
In the first four months of 2015, 393 rhinos were killed in South Africa and our trans-frontier parks, with most killed in the Kruger National Park. Prince Harry’s visit to the Kruger National Park is therefore most appropriate and welcomed.
Society as a whole must play whatever part it can in preventing the destruction of rhino life in South Africa, and if that means engaging the assistance of international personalities, then the DA will work toward this steadfastly.