Game reserve back to normal

Sicelo Dladla

Sicelo Dladla

It's business as usual at Ndumo Game Reserve, which was recently invaded by locals.

Some members of the KwaTembe clan hacked down an 11km fence in their attempt to grab the land reserved for conservation, but police intervened.

Acting chief executive of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Bheki Khoza, applauded police for their quick intervention.

Though there were some disruptions when invaders stormed the reserve, Khoza said, police spoke to them and they had since returned to their homes.

"There is no one inside the reserve. They have observed the boundaries," said Khoza.

He said investigations would continue and no one had yet been arrested.

Khoza was appointed chief executive officer on Friday after the incumbent, Khulani Mkhize, was put on "special leave".

This was after allegations that Mkhize had smashed a hired van during a tour to Tembe Elephant Park last month. He had it fixed without reporting the incident to the authorities.

"This leave started on Friday until further notice," said MEC for agriculture and environmental affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu. Mkhize would be given a chance to give his side of the story, Mthimkhulu said.

Maurice MacKenzie, a consultant advisor to the department of agriculture and environmental affairs, blamed previous MECs for the problems at the reserve.

"One MEC asked people if they needed 200 hectares of land and they assumed that he was going to provide them the land," said MacKenzie.