An open letter to Simon Mafela
Regarding your driven hunt on your farm near
Alldays, I make the following points.
You have made some wide straight roads across
your property so that the hunters can see the running animals.
Surely you didnít just bulldoze through different veld types.
Also your wide roads are not drained so in the first rains you
will be left with a high level of erosion. This will trigger
bush encroachment and other unproductive cycles. Therefore
unless you propose to do another hunt you have severely scarred
your land permanently for just 7 days hunting.
The stands you made do not have a gun rests.
Therefore the hunters are shooting from their shoulders. This
means that many animals will be wounded. My experience is that
European hunters battle to even hit a stationary animal let
alone a running one. Therefore my question is how do you know
that the animal is not wounded and how do you follow up
immediately to put the animal out of its misery, or donít you
If you donít follow up then arenít you losing
revenue because the hunter has wounded an animal for which he
has not paid.
Have you stipulated what guns the hunters
must use. If an impala runs across the road, a 30.06 may be okay
but if a kudu or eland runs across, it is too light. I presume
you have insisted on heavy calibres and checked that all guns
are sighted and that the hunters are good shots, or is it if
they can pay, they automatically get into the hunt?
In the Carte Blanche interview, you seem very
concerned with race. In the pictures I see only wealthy white
hunters. I presume you did invite also black hunters and
especially hunters from the local Alldays community?
What is happening to the meat? Do the wealthy
European hunters get all the meat? Does the Alldays community
get any of the meat? Surely you canít be sending out a message
to the local subsistence poachers that itís okay for wealthy
white hunters to blast away, wounding animals and killing some,
while they, the poachers, get locked up for catching an impala
in a wire snare. The poachers are after all only trying to feed
their families, while the wealthy hunters are shooting for fun.
Driven hunts were invented in Europe because
the Kings were too fat and could not walk.
Why, as a matter of interest, would you try
to emulate an outdated cruel practice which was invented in
Europe. We in Africa are leaders not followers. The hunters on
your hunt come from countries where there is no wildlife. They
killed it a long time ago? Now you allow them to kill our
wildlife from raised deck chairs!
The rut for many of the animals was in April.
It is now September so many of the females are pregnant. How
does a European hunter determine whether a fleeing animal is
pregnant or not? The answer is he doesnít! Therefore if he kills
a pregnant animal, he has actually killed two. Do you then
charge him a double head tax? Do you show him, and if his wife
is there, them the foetus to prove that the female was pregnant
and he must pay double?
Simon, you have a valuable game farm and you
also create valuable jobs in the local community. Therefore why
would you allow European wealthy hunters to hunt and wound
fleeing animals with high powered rifles. You bring shame on
yourself, your community and our country.
I ask you sincerely to reconsider this and
find a more ethical and less cruel way of using your land and
Tread lightly on the Earth