Mahlobo’s visit to spa connected to criminal syndicates worrying‚ parliamentary committee say
State Security Minister of David Mahlobo visiting an “establishment of people known to be part of criminal syndicates” was “worrying‚ as it can undermine the confidence of our people in our best efforts in fighting this crime”.
That’s the opinion of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs‚ which said on Tuesday that it “is deeply concerned by the shocking revelations aired during an Al Jazeera television documentary entitled The Poachers Pipeline‚ in which Mr Guan Jian Guang confesses his involvement in the illegal trade of rhino horn”.
Committee chairperson Phillemon Mapulane said: “The committee further notes the allegations by Guan linking … Mahlobo‚ in this illicit trade. These are indeed very serious allegations‚ considering the plight of South African rhino populations in the face of an ongoing criminal onslaught on this iconic‚ flagship species.
“Rhino poaching is the worst wildlife crime our country has ever experienced.
“It has reached epidemic proportions over the past couple of years‚ at a great cost to our nation in terms of the ecology and human and financial resources.”
Mapulane said this was the reason the committee had‚ in September‚ “called for the introduction of legislation to treat the killing of rhinos as a serious crime‚ which will warrant minimum sentences of not less than 15 years”.
The committee called on the South African Police Services “to immediately arrest this self-confessed killer and illegal trader of our highly-valued rhino species and to undertake a thorough investigation of all the relevant allegations he has made”.
“We are particularly concerned about the allegations by Guan linking Mahlobo to this crime as‚ if left unattended‚ they could undermine the integrity of government’s efforts to dismantle international rhino poaching criminal syndicates‚” Mapulane said.
He‚ however‚ noted that “Mahlobo himself has called for the investigation of this allegations against him”.
Mahlobo‚ who was shown in photos with Guan at his Mpumalanga spa in the documentary‚ has denied any links to the trade in rhino horn.
– TMG Digital
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