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I CHOOSE TO BE HERE – THE ART OF GIVING DURING THE GLOBAL COVID_19 PANDEMIC

“Awubizwanga Uzizele, no one asked me to be here, I chose to be here” this is the mantra of the Overberg Whale Boxing Club which was founded by Mzi Damesi in 2007 and was formally registered as a non-profit organisation in 2011.

Image Credit: Daily Maverick

The boxing club is housed in the Zwelihle village, Zwelihle means “Beautiful Place” and it is situated between Hermanus and Sandbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa.

The boxing gym is situated, for the moment, at the Zwelihle Sports Grounds in Lusaka Street. The gym consists of three converted shipping containers set around a central concrete square.

Despite having very limited resources, the most basic facilities and equipment Mzi’s dedication and his pupil’s hard work the OWBC boxers have enjoyed phenomenal success, not only regionally but nationally too.

Image Credit The Village News
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LOVE AND THE ART OF GIVING DURING THE TIME OF THE COVID_19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of” Nelson Mandela

“We are violating the rights of young people in this county on a daily basis. These kids are not getting what they were promised in terms of the constitution and the bill of rights. And then we blame them for the problem of high crime and gangs. Yet we put them in a situation where that’s sometimes the only alternative for survival. We are responsible, as a country, for creating a situation where gangs are inevitable” Don Pinnock. Pinnock is a South African writer, investigative journalist, criminologist and author of ‘Gang Town’ a book written drawing on three decades of research.

The Cape Flats is an area in the Western Cape of Southern Africa, it is an example of where the problems of massive income inequality in the country are most obvious. There are also high rates of unemployment and very limited state-supported service delivery. The Cape Flats is an epicentre where community members are recruited to become involved in local and international organised crime.

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A LOOMING CRISIS – THE CAPTIVE BIG CAT INDUSTRY, COVID_19 AND GOVERNMENT CULPABILITY

An Open Letter to the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy

25th March 2020

Dear Honourable Minister Creecy,

Since at least as far back as the late 1990s, various NGOs have warned your department about the harmful and negative effects of breeding lions (and other big cats) in captivity. Yet, the South African government has done nothing to slow the growth of the captive lion breeding industry, nor has it given any indication of wanting to do so. This letter lays bare the facts and calls for immediate action.

First, it details the risks embedded in captive lion (and other big cat) breeding and why the industry should be terminated.

Second, we note that letter after letter to your Ministry and Department goes unheeded. It seems that industry voices – those with a vested interest in acquiring short-term benefits from exploitative breeding of lion (and other big cat) cubs for human interaction, canned hunting and the lion bone trade – provide the tune to which the policy fiddle dances.

Finally, tourism – the goose that lays the golden egg in the South African economy – is dead for the foreseeable future. Not only has South Africa’s willingness to supply Asian wildlife markets created zoonotic disease spillover risks, which have led to the need for travel bans, but the imposition of the latter means that thousands of captive lions (and other big cats) will now be left to starve to death without tourism dollars. Had the government acted in 2009 (when a plan was presented to your Department) and when there were far fewer lions (and other big cats) in captivity, this catastrophe would have been avoided.

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IS SOUTH AFRICA’S LION BONE TRADE CREATING HEALTH RISKS FOR WORKERS AND CONSUMERS COVID_19?

Claws, teeth and paws: a clandestine industry reduces wild lions to mere objects and creates health risks for workers and consumers

AUTHOR Ross Harvey (PhD, Economics)

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, likely attributable to the consumption of pangolin meat at a ‘wet’ wildlife meat market in Wuhan, China, the Chinese state has imposed a ban on the sale of wildlife and wildlife products. Even though this move is motivated by a desire to mitigate contagion risk, it is in keeping with China’s desire to portray itself as an ‘ecological civilisation’. An ecologically minded civilisation does not promote the domestication of wildlife to be farmed as mere consumables. South Africa could learn a lesson here.

As Don Pinnock writes, the Chinese ban – implemented on 24 February 2020 – sounds an overdue death knell for South Africa’s lion bone industry, not least because of the extensive health risks of exporting lion bones to Asia. Workers in the industry are at risk of contracting bovine TB, giving the lie to the idea that the captive lion industry provides quality jobs to poor rural South Africans. Consumers are similarly at risk of contracting deadly diseases through drinking lion bone wine or lion bone cakes and so forth. Given these risks, detailed in a letter penned by the EMS Foundation to Minister Barbara Creecy, it is high time that the South African state terminated its captive lion breeding industry, as urged by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as far back as 2016. 

Why exactly does the South African government continue to support the industry and what myths do its proponents sell to maintain the breeding, hunting and skinning of captive lions? And why should they stop it immediately? 

Panthera leo (the African lion) is in trouble. Over the last 21 years we have lost 43% of our populations. It is likely that fewer than 32,000 are left in the wild, with some scientists favouring the lower-bound estimate of 23,000. Prey base depletion and associated habitat loss and fragmentation are the primary threats, along with bushmeat hunting, retaliatory killing for livestock predation and excessive trophy hunting. 

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WILDLIFE ORGANISATIONS UNITE TO RESPECT AND SECURE THE WILDLIFE AT THE SANWILD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IN SOUTH AFRICA

The SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary

“The only beneficiaries of the SanWild Wildlife Trust established in 2000, is the animals, the trustees are merely the custodians”.

An offer has been presented to the trustees of the SanWild Wildlife Trust which translates into an enormous investment. The offer has been made with the best interests of the wild animals at SanWild at heart, as well as that of the legacy of the SanWild Trust. The offer has been made despite SanWild’s complicated history, the lack of public trust and support, and the on-going and immense problems that it is facing.  

COPY OF THE OFFER MADE TO THE TRUSTEES OF THIS PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANSATION:

Tuesday 25th February 2020

Dear Lizel Kachehoffer, Wim Scheepers and Walter Swanepoel,  

THE PROPOSED OFFER TO RESCUE THE SANWILD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 

Wim Scheepers, the legal co-Council of the disgraced former trustee and co-founder of the SandWild Wildlife Trust, Andre Grobler, requested the financial assistance of interested individuals and organisations in September 2019 with regard to saving the SanWild Wildlife sanctuary.  This request was made publicly on two different Facebook posts.  

In response, and as you are aware, the EMS Foundation together with a number of South African wildlife organisations have for a number of months been trying to accurately assess the situation at SanWild. This was embarked upon because:

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EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

Contact Us


info@emsfoundation.org.za

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