EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Times Live
A well-known Free State lion breeder and hunting-safari operator could soon find himself in court on illegal hunting charges.
In a written response to questions from the DA’s caucus leader in the Free State legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, MEC for Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sam Mashinini gave an update on the progress of a two-year police investigation into a prominent Excelsior lion breeder and safari hunter.
According to Mashinini, the hunter and others allegedly killed more than 30 lions without the required permits.
The hunter, who also owns a taxidermy business, is said to have applied for permits through another canned-lion hunting operator in North West.
“The case is going to the high court because the asset forfeiture unit [of the National Prosecuting Authority] is involved,” Mashinini said. The National Prosecuting Authority is expected to enrol the case in the high court before the end of the year.
Linda Park, Johannesburg director of Campaign against Canned Hunting, said: “We have known for a long time about non-compliance, permit irregularities and corruption in the industry, especially in the Free State and North West. It’s not just a few rotten apples but an entire orchard that is rotten from the roots up.”
The hunter is also a former committee member of the South African Predator Breeders Association and is listed as one of the three appellants who succeeded in a 2010 application to the Supreme Court of Appeal for the overturning of a 2007 government decision to stop canned-lion hunting.
Mashinini also mentioned other Free State investigations, including:
– The disappearance of 27 lions and a leopard from Boskoppie farm. It is alleged that the animals were stolen and illegally exported. A case of theft against the owner’s son is being investigated by the police.
– A 2014 Bethulie case, in which two people were arrested for transporting a lion to North West without permits.
– A 2013 case in which a man was prosecuted for keeping more lions than regulations permitted in enclosures that were too small.
– A lodge near Kroonstad at which 16 lions were illegally kept.