Sisulu sends stern warning to poachers

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pretoria - The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, has warned poachers that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will return fire with fire in the Kruger National Park and other areas along the border.

The warning follows the fatal shooting of three poachers next to the border of South Africa with Mozambique inside the Kruger National Park who fired at members of the SANDF who were on patrol in the Park.

"The SANDF will do anything to protect our national assets, we will not allow criminals to do as they wish in our parks, we also want to send a very strong message that poachers who shoot at soldiers must know that we will return fire with fire," the minister said.

She added that the SANDF and the South African National Parks will cooperate in protecting all national parks. The cooperation will include joint operations, sharing of information and training.

An AK47 rifle, one Bruno .458 hunting rifle, two axes and two cell phones were found in the poachers' possession.

The SANDF has now returned to patrol land borders of South Africa with Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia. It is envisaged that by the end of 2013 the SANDF will cover the whole land border.

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