Daily Archives: April 4, 2018

Minister Edna Molewa: 4th Multi-Lateral Meeting of Defence and Security Chiefs on Anti-Poaching

Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Shoke

Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Lieutenant General Mutwa

Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Sibanda

Deputy Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Major General Morake

Deputy Army Commander of Zambia, Major General Miti

Chief of Defence Intelligence in Mozambique, Brigadier General Mitama

Military Attaches

Senior Defence and Security officials

Senior representatives of Government departments

Heads of National Parks and Wildlife Authorities

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning,

I bring you greetings from the Honourable Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who is unable to be here today at a sad moment in South Africa after we have lost the mother of our Nation, the African child of the soil, Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela, may her soul rest in peace.

I must say our extensive interaction with our own security cluster chaired by our Minister for Defence, makes me feel quite at home amongst such an esteemed gathering of Chiefs of Defence and other Defence officials.

We trust that most of you will have had the opportunity to visit our gem in nature conservation � the Kruger National Park � since your arrival for this 4th Multi-lateral Forum of the Defence and Security Chiefs on Anti-Poaching.

We are informed that one of the main purposes of this meeting is to not only deliberate on legal issues pertaining to Anti-Poaching efforts, but also to discuss a means to ensure that the punishment meted out to those convicted of poaching in our region is standardised.

The forum that is meeting here today is informed and aligned to both the SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement as well as the SADC Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching LEAP Strategy.

These tools are central to comprehensive anti-poaching efforts in our sub-region, promotion of the sustainable use of wildlife; enforcement of wildlife laws within, between and among State Parties; the promotion of the conservation of shared wildlife resources, and the facilitation of community based natural resources management practices for management of wildlife resources.

Our continent is home to most of the world’s surviving species of wild animals and plants. The region’s biodiversity and ecosystems play an important role in meeting the developmental objectives of our region. The SADC region, in particular, is unique and rich, with an abundance of wildlife. This makes us prone to daily threats of poaching. But while we are faced with similar challenges, we also have similar opportunities to tackle this threat.

The illegal killing and trafficking of our wildlife undermines our investments in the protection and conservation of our natural heritage. It is for this reason we, as the Southern African countries, have, after much deliberation, adopted the SADC Law Enforcement and Anti-poaching Strategy (known as the LEAP Strategy), which now needs to be implemented.

This strategy will boost efforts to combat poaching and trafficking in wildlife by introducing a common approach to combat the illicit transnational trade in wildlife.

It is a well-known fact that our sub-region is home to the biggest elephant and rhino populations left on the Planet. This is in addition to all the other terrestrial and marine fauna and flora species which are conserved and sustainably used in our countries.

We are mindful and respectful of the role you, our Defence and Security Chiefs, play to create and maintain stability on our continent. We thus appreciate the time taken, and effort being made, to collaborate on wildlife crime and corruption within the region. We need this collaboration and co-ordination which we believe is part of your core mandate, thus maintaining the integrity of our different countries.

The abundance of our natural assets unfortunately implies risk, and a threat to these species, our people and the environment in general, as unscrupulous groups illegally kill and traffic in species for financial gain. This is all due to the escalating demand for the parts and derivatives of the animals and plants that are used for a variety of purposes.

It is therefore true that this is no longer just a threat to the environment, but also a social, economic and security threat as well as a transnational organised crime. We are not naA�ve to the fact that defending and protecting these species is a full-time and very expensive undertaking.

It is unfortunate that the poorest of the poor are more often than not, the ones that are being targeted and recruited by the criminal syndicates which, in turn, destabilises the social structures of our communities, at the expense of our natural heritage.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to address wildlife trafficking, our governments have diversified and expanded their capabilities to meet the escalating threat and as such diverted allocations from much needed resources for other socio-economic imperatives.

It has been almost a decade since rhino poaching started intensifying and increasing in the sub-region. Through our efforts to combat the scourge, we have learnt lessons and have developed best practices that we can share with each other. A forum like this one therefore serves as the ideal opportunity to do just that.

As rhino poaching escalated, South Africa had to adapt and enter into a number of collaborative agreements to ensure our wildlife is protected and properly managed.

The South African government at a Cabinet level, approved an Integrated Strategic Management Approach for the protection and management of rhino in the country.

This approach is implemented through a joint collaboration within the Security Cluster comprising the Ministries of Defence and Military Veterans (Chair), Justice and Correctional Services, Police, Environmental Affairs as well as state owned entities, such as the State Security Agency, South African Revenue Service, National Prosecuting Authority, SANParks and the provincial conservation and security authorities.

The Integrated Approach comprises specific interventions aimed at:

increasing rhino numbers by expanding the range which also involves sharing animals with other range countries;

strengthening law enforcement and anti-poaching capabilities;

working with communities adjacent to national and provincial parks and broader awareness programmes;

national, regional and international collaboration with a number of strategic partners;

Development and harmonisation of responsive legislative tools. South Africa has entrenched environmental rights (including the protection and sustainable use of wildlife) in its Constitution.

These have delivered a number of significantly satisfying results � most significantly, an established downward trend in the number of rhino poached in South Africa since 2016. It is an approach that is now being utilised to curb elephant poaching in the Kruger National Park.

This approach has resulted in poachers not only being arrested, but also being successfully prosecuted and receiving harsh sentences

We have also seen the importance of concluding environment and conservation MOUs with a number of countries in the region as well as those countries considered as transit and consumer countries. Furthermore, our co-operation through the Transfrontier Conservation Areas Programme not only affirms our common heritage but contributes to stability, peace and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We would therefore like to encourage this forum to adopt its Terms of Reference for the multi-lateral co-operation on anti-poaching which you have indicated will provide guidance and a framework on the:

Enhancement of judicial legislation process and harmonization there of

Minimization of illegal wildlife trafficking

Improvement and strengthening of field protection

Provision of resources for combatting illegal wildlife trafficking

Exchange of training and intelligence

Cross border challenges and co-operation

Joint border patrols

Joint operations to locate weapons

Domestication of SADC law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We trust that we can forge an even closer alliance between our defence and security forces and our environmental protectors.

Cooperation with other complementary partners needs to be facilitated and enhanced as this could serve as the basis for general cross-border cooperation, including the sharing of technology, training, joint operations and joint operational centres, information sharing and common communication systems.

It is our fervent hope that this meeting will result in developing, not only mechanisms for the implementation of the LEAP strategy, but also ensure the translation of the Terms of Reference into tangible action, most importantly the establishment of a common legal framework and responsive legislation for member States in dealing with poaching.

We wish all participants a wonderful stay in our beautiful country. May this meeting result in decisions and outcomes that will have positive results in fighting the illegal killing and subsequent trafficking in wildlife in our region.

Thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

ANC TO ANNOUNCE 10-DAY PLAN OF ACTIVITIES IN HONOUR OF WINNIE MANDELA

JOHANNESBURG–The African National Congress will announce Wednesday a ten-day plan of activities to honour the late Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as tributes for the South African struggle stalwart continues to pour in from around the world.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is leading a delegation of ministers and members of the ANC National Executive Committee to finalise the plan with the family in Soweto here. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said here Tuesday that the plan would include engaging actors who played the role of Mama Winnie in various movies which were depicting her life.

A condolences book will also be opened physically and online.

Earlier, South African and ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela’s special official funeral will take place at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday. However, her remains will be buried in Fourways in the north of Johannesburg.

All flags across the country and at all South African missions abroad are flying at half-mast until the evening of Madikizela-Mandela’s burial. Ramaphosa has also declared 12-days of national mourning.

President Ramaphosa has made it clear that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela must be afforded the highest honour for her contribution to the liberation. The President continues to send his condolences to her family and wishes them strength during this difficult time of loss, said Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko.

Meanwhile, tributes from the country and abroad continue to pour in to honour the life and times of Madikizela-Mandela. The nation is still gripped in awe over the passing of one of the most famous anti-Apartheid struggle icons.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

HEAD OF SOUTH AFRICA’S COMMUNICATION AUTHORITY TO BE SENTENCED FOR FRAUD TUESDAY

PRETORIA– The chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), Rubben Mohlaloga, is to be sentenced today in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.

He was convicted of fraud and money laundering in January. MohlalogaS along with five othersS was accused of defrauding the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) of about 6.0 million Rand (about 507,000 US dollars) in 2008.

Mohlaloga and his accomplices transferred money from Land Bank to an attorney’s trust account.

He as appointed chairperson of Icasa in December 2017. However, the Parliamentary Committee on Communications recently decided to remove Mohlaloga as Icasa chairperson.

The committee said the Icasa Act prohibits anyone convicted of fraud from serving as a councillor of the communications industry regulator.

The committee’s decision has still to be adopted by the National Assembly.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

South Africa on attempted missile attack targeted at Saudi Arabian

South Africa concerned about the attempted missile attack targeting Riyad, Saudi Arabia

The South African Government is concerned about the attempted missile attack that targeted the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on 25 March 2018. This is the third such incident following similar attempts in November and December 2017.

The missiles are believed to have originated in Yemen, and South Africa shares the concern that the domestic conflict in Yemen is impacting on regional stability. Furthermore, the missiles appear to have been destroyed over urban areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and have resulted in a casualty.

South Africa condemns any use of lethal force targeting civilian populations and calls upon the parties involved to respect international humanitarian law in this regard.

South Africa reiterates its calls to all parties involved in the conflict in Yemen to demonstrate restraint and consider peaceful alternatives. We remain forthright in our belief that the only sustainable resolution will be a negotiated, Yemeni-led, inclusive and fair political settlement.

Source: Government of South Africa

South Africa calls for independent inquiry into the deaths of Palestinians

The South African government strongly condemns the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces in Gaza, which has led to the deaths of about 17 Palestinian citizens, with scores of others reported injured.

South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.

South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said: “The actions of the Israeli armed forces present yet another obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict, which must come in the form of two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side-by-side and in peace.

“South Africa aligns itself with those members of the United Nations calling for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.”

Source: Government of South Africa