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An open letter to The Vice President of ANC, South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa
Having recently personally purchased for R18
million a buffalo bull, I know you are someone who cares about our
wildlife and heritage.
My problem is this, in September 2011, I implored
the President, Jacob Zuma to treat the invasion of Mozambicans who
are killing our rhino as an invasion of our country.
I feel the President, like President Ian Khama of
Botswana, should be at the forefront of this rhino crisis.
As from my attached letter, you will see that the
war is intensifying into the private game reserves. In desperation,
I have written a letter to the Minister of Defense, but I have had
I find the ANC Government aloof and
non-communicative with its citizens.
Can you urge
the Minister of Defense to
commit troops to crush this poaching once and for all.
Could you as Vice President, take this crisis
into your own hands and play the role that President Ian Khama is
playing. This involves appearing on TV, motivating and inspiring us who are
trying to combat the poaching. We desperately need leadership!
The fire that you displayed when you were leading
the unions against the big mining companies during apartheid, is
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Co-owner of Londolozi Game Reserve
Founder of Tiger Canyons
Please sign and share our
Avaaz petition about rhino poaching
to be delivered to Cyril Ramaphosa
This letter is copied to the following:
President of South Africa - Jacob Zuma -
Defence and Military Veterans - Ms Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula
Justice and Constitutional Development -
Jeff Radebe -
Nathi Mthethwa -
Marthinus van Schalkwyk -
6) Min Water and
Environmental Affairs - Edna Molewa
7) Premier Mpumalanga -
Mr David Dabede Mabuza
8) Premier Eastern Cape -
Ms Noxolo Kiviet -
9) Leader DA - Helen Zille
10) Vice President ANC - Cyril Ramaphosa -
An open letter to the Minister of Defense and
Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula and copied
to President Jacob Zuma and Minister Edna Molewa
My name is John Varty, I am co-owner of
Londolozi Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Reserve alongside Kruger
I am founder of Tiger Canyons in the Free
State of South Africa. I am fourth generation South African and
have spent a lifetime in the conservation business.
In the 70's I was involved in the anti
poaching movement in Kenya attempting to protect their rhino.
The effort ultimately failed, because the then president Jomo
Kenyatta failed to put the Kenyan army behind the National Parks
and private organizations trying to fight the poaching.
Lessons weren't learnt and in the 80's,
Zambia lost all its rhino when President Kenneth Kaunda and
Chiluba again failed to support the men on the ground with the
South Africa is now making the same mistake.
History has taught us nothing!
The rhino war is shifting into the private
game reserves alongside the Kruger National Park. We are in the
tourist business not the anti poaching business. We do not have
the finance or expertise to fight this war. Our lodges are
internationally known and we are huge employers of people, even
more than the mines.
My question is why is the South African
Defense Force not deployed to help us? Why are senior members of
the Defense Force not strategizing with us daily?
I believe that in the controversial multi
billion rand arms deal, you have helicopters sitting on the
ground. We are in desperate need of air support.
My information is that you have forces
fighting in the Central African Republic while daily Mozambicans
raid into our game reserves, killing our rhino.
With due respect, President Ian Khama of
Botswana, is setting an example. His entire army is aiding the
conservationists and he has a "shoot to kill" policy.
Ian Khama is communicating with Botswana
citizens daily, he is hands on and showing incredible
leadership. We need the same!
I wrote to President Zuma in September 2011
imploring him to take charge of the rhino crisis. I have heard
I would like to see you as Minister of
Defense on television, in the press leading us through this
crisis, communicating, strategizing and inspiring us.
I implore you to make available troops
immediately and treat this as a full scale invasion of our
When bandits from Tanzania invaded the Masai
Mara in Kenya attacking tourists, President Daniel Arap Moi, put
the full force of the Kenyan army against them.
Within months the problem was solved. We need
this approach and we need it now!
I would please like a reply to my request
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Similar letter by Allison Thomson (OSCAP
- Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching)
to the Minister
OPEN LETTER TO THE HONOURABLE
MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS
Ms Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula
The problem facing the Republic of South Africa regarding
the wanton poaching of our Rhino and other species of animal
has now reached epidemic proportions, with 446 rhino
recorded as already having been poached, this year, alone.
Apart from the tragedy and suffering that this signifies for
our rhino this has become a national security tragedy for
the country in that armed foreigners protected by armed
foreign gunmen are crossing our borders, especially into the
Kruger National park with the aim of poaching rhino for
their horn, but also with the intent to defend what is not
theirs, if necessary, by taking the lives of our park
rangers and soldiers! In any country this would be
considered a very serious national security issue and
constitutes nothing less than an armed foreign incursion and
in some instances a declaration of war.
Whilst the Republic spends hundreds of millions of rand
every year in peacekeeping efforts on the continent, a low
scale war is being waged on our own border almost without
answer except for the approximately 150 military personnel
deployed to the Kruger National Park to protect more than
350km of border. In a normal 3 watch system this means that
a mere 50 military personnel can be on duty at any one time.
So we have a situation where there is 1 man available for
about every 7 kilometres of border, at any one time. We are
clearly not taking this very serious threat to our national
security, in which our soldiers and park rangers are
threatened daily as seriously as we should be.
Present conventional wisdom, as reported in the press,
purports that the proceeds of rhino poaching (and probably
the poaching of other animals) are being channelled to
RENAMO in Mozambique. It is widely accepted that RENAMO is a
destabilising force in Mozambique and that it is quite
willing to revert to acts of terrorism in order to de-stabilise
the government of Mozambique. Thus, our inaction against
poachers (armed foreigners operating with military force
including helicopters, night vision equipment and high
calibre assault rifles), is indirectly supporting
instability, not only in our region, but right here on our
Minster, the time has come to take this threat to our
national security and to the national security of our
neighbours, very seriously. This low scale war on our
national borders between the Kruger National Park and our
neighbouring countries is a war which we cannot afford to
lose. Your legacy as the Minister of Defence and Military
Veterans and that of the Government of South Africa is
dependent on winning this war, more so than it is on our
peacekeeping efforts in far flung places on the Continent
such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Central
African Republic. This is not a war against our neighbouring
countries; this is a war against their destabilising
We need more troops in the Kruger National Park, authority
for our troops and rangers to pursue poachers into our
neighbouring countries (in our neighbouring countries’ own
interests) and a properly built and patrolled fence along
our border. We must also make use of the latest technologies
for detecting transgressions of our border and must have a
complete rethink of the Trans Frontier National Park, which
has merely turned out to be an excellent mechanism for
transferring our game to areas where it can be slaughtered
at will, with no commensurate benefit to our national
security or the state coffers!
Minister, National Security is everyone’s concern and
responsibility, the job of protecting it, in this case, is
Tread lightly on the
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats All rights reserved
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