On the 6th August 2020 the EMS Foundation wrote an open letter to the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy, the CEO of SanParks Fundisile Mketeni, the Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and SH Makhubele the CEO of LEDET with regard to our concerns relating to the elephant hunt that took place in the Balule Nature Reserve an associated Private Nature Reserve which joins the Kruger National Park on the 5th December 2019. To date we have not received a response to this letter.
In a meeting of the National Assembly on the 16th October 2020, Ms Hannah Winkler of the Democratic Alliance, asked the Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy the following important questions:
What is the reasoning behind the Kruger National Park dropping fences to areas bordering the Park known as the Associated Private Nature Reserves, is this to allow free movement of protected animals or to allow for trophy hunting of these protected animals?
What are the reasons that the decision to drop the fences to the surrounding APNRs was not brought before the Portfolio Committee on Environment Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries when it undermines the purpose of protecting wildlife in national parks?
Would Minister Creecy provide the concept document for the dropping of fences between the Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Reserves?
What are the terms of agreement on trophy hunting in these Associated Private Nature Reserves, and which authority provides oversight thereof?
Was Minister Creecy informed about the hunting of the bull elephant, who was shot eighteen times in the Kruger National Park on the 5th December, and what is the Minister’s position on this particular unethical hunt?
Minister Barbara Creecy responded to the questions as follows:
“According to information at my disposal, the said elephant bull was hunted in a reserve within the APNR, in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements and the APNR Hunting protocol.
Such hunts are overseen by the management structure of the reserves, together with the Provincial Conservation Authorities, they being the regulatory authorities tasked with monitoring compliance with the Protocol.
I am advised that during the particular hunt being refereed to, no tourists besides the hunting party were witness to the hunt. I am also advised that the LEDET provided the documentation to substantiate that the permits were legally issued and that no laws were contravened.
According to information at my disposal, the hunt was legal and took place in accordance with the APNR Hunting Protocol. The APNR off-take committee furthermore reviewed the incident and provided a ruling that the hunt was in accordance with the Protocol. The provincial environmental authority LEDET conducted a full investigation into this matter.”
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