Target: Chief Justice of South Africa, Mogoeng Mogoeng
Goal: Strengthen anti-poaching laws to protect the rapidly shrinking number of rhinos and other wildlife.
A South African prosecutor recently expressed her concern about how poaching cases have become a norm in the country. Prosecutor Ansie Venter has been working on cases related to rhino poaching for a few years, and she claims these cases appear like ‘shoplifting cases in the city.’ The revelation by Mrs. Venter is an actual reality of the weak anti-poaching policies in South Africa.
Mrs. Venter claimed that even though there is a high conviction rate, waves of offenders still come through the courts with cases related to poaching. Her remarks cast doubt on South Africa’s anti-poaching laws as the country continues to suffer rhino deaths.
By day, poaching cases continue to increase in South Africa. In 2014 alone, 1215 rhinos were reported to have been killed by poachers. The animals were killed for their horns that are alleged to be used in some countries for medicinal purposes.
The main concern is that South Africa does not have specific laws designed to address rhino poaching. For this reason, prosecutors are forced to give maximum sentences that were being given for non-harmful offences like illegal firearm possession or trespassing. With no serious anti-poaching policies, poachers easily slip through the legal system by getting bail.
To end the illegal act, South Africa should first come up with laws that arrest the kingpins and not the footmen. The quick arrests and convictions are not doing South Africa any good because the kingpins are always ahead of law enforcement efforts. Poaching should be categorized as a priority crime, and stronger laws should be established. In fact, the crime should be treated in a similar manner as a murder offence and heavier penalties should be imposed to curb the crime.
Sign this petition to demand the strengthening of anti-poaching laws in South Africa.
Dear Mogoeng Mogoeng,
A recent revelation by a South African prosecutor points at the weak anti-poaching laws in South Africa. Ansie Venter has been dealing with rhino poaching cases, and she claims poaching cases have become too common, an indicator that the anti-poaching laws in South Africa may be weak.
Even though South Africa convicts poaching criminals, poaching cases continue to flood the courts, casting doubt on the country’s anti-poaching laws. One concern is that South Africa lacks specific legislation for addressing rhino poaching. Therefore, prosecutors are forced to settle on sentences that do not match the extent of the crime. Poachers have found it easy to slip through the legal system because there are no strict anti-poaching policies. Take the necessary measures to strengthen anti-poaching laws in your country and impose heavier penalties on poachers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: -Dennis Jarvis