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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit


Experts in Rural Security
Protrack has evolved from
being solely an Anti-
Poaching Unit to the
present day where highly
specialised and diverse
security services are
offered. This progression
is evident in all aspects
and facets of the company.
In the anti-poaching
environment the very
nature of this type of
enforcement requires the
highest level of
observation and planning
to successfully apprehend
a suspect. This is as a
result of the vast terrain
covered by a few select
individuals. In this
environment chance
encounters or successes
as result of anticipated
movements, are equally
likely. It is this type of
training which makes the
security aspects offered by
the company so successful
and sought after. The basic
principles are the same
regardless of the type of
security application and
rely heavily on skills of
observation, pro-activity,
public relations and the
ability to act appropriately
under pressure and
potentially dangerous
situations. Classical law
enforcement is shifting to
where a higher reliance is
placed on private security
structures. For this reason
a versatile and highly
trained security force is paramount in providing stability and safety in our volatile
society.

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Poachers arrested
A Red Duiker such as the one pictured
on the left is specially protected by law
and was found in the possession of a
poacher on the Graskop Road in the
White River area. The poacher was
arrested. This little antelope which
rarely exceeds 12 kg was the
unfortunate victim of this senseless
killing.

Two poachers were arrested in the


Hoedspruit West region; one of them is
reportedly a known and long time
wanted poacher, who has plagued the
area for some time. Another was caught
returning to claim this snared bushbuck,
but on this occasion was simply
unlucky.

Looking carefully one can see the snare


on the neck of one of the Spotted
Hyenas. The other likely had a run-in
with a predator such as a lion. They
were photographed in the vicinity of a
leopard kill, where an impala carcass
was lodged in the fork of a tree.

Dogs have been reported on certain


reserves in the Hoedspruit area, some
on their own and others in the company
of poachers. These poachers are
notoriously difficult to catch and this
poaching method is highly successful.

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Bravery Medals
In the course of the year we had a
number of incidences, where our staff
members have risked their lives in the
course of their duties. Two members
were shot and are lucky to be alive
today, more were shot at or were
attacked physically with knives. Some
have sustained serious injury whilst
subduing suspects and everybody is
aware of the risks they face in simply
performing their duties.

We have celebrated an event where


one of our guards returned to work after
a lengthy recovery period subsequent to
being shot whilst attempting to
apprehend an armed robber and
simultaneously honoured those who
have lost their lives in the history of the
company.

As a token of our appreciation we


awarded bravery medals to deserving
employees for selfless bravery in the
face of grave danger.

Often the security guard is the first line


of defence between the civilian and the
criminal. In the eyes of the law, they
have no more rights to defend
themselves or exercise their duties,
than those of any member of the public.
We can only say Thank You!

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Rhino Poaching Counter Strike

The media informs the general public of


frequent rhino poaching incidents
spanning the country. In practice many
incidents are not reported as result of
sensitivity of ongoing investigations or,
because poaching in the private sector
does not achieve the same media
coverage as that in the larger reserves.
This is unfortunate, because the
knowledge of these infiltrations alerts us to the whereabouts and actions of syndicate
poachers.

It appears as if there is a shift in modus operandi to target smaller rhino populations to


escape more organised anti-poaching measures employed by the Parks Board
structures and major conservation bodies. Rhino poaching is solely an act of greed and
rhino are never targeted as a source of food despite the fact that parts of the carcass
may be eaten. The fight against rhino poaching should not only be on the ground, but
extend to the curbing of trade in rhino products. However a solid anti-poaching strategy
must be employed to counter the escalating threat.

The potential income stemming from this crime is notable and as result great resources
and infrastructure are engaged in the facilitation of obtaining rhino horn. The dangers
associated with confronting the poachers are real and potentially fatal. This therefore
requires a highly trained and efficient team and strategy to counter the threat and in
addition any anti poaching initiative should be equally organised, and be backed by
experience, knowledge, support structures as well as armed and trained personnel.

Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit has assembled such a task team from select veterans with
considerable field experience and aptitude for handling compromising situations. These
individuals have been hand picked based on their track records and in field successes.
This team will be deployed to high risk zones as and when required to afflicted areas.

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

The Rhino Task Force


A special task team has been assembled
to address the challenge of rhino
poaching. These individuals have been
specifically selected according to their
experience, aptitude and skills.

The long awaited firearm licenses have


finally arrived and this team is now armed
with semi-automatic Mini-Ruger rifles for
the necessary fire power required for the
job.

Each member in the squad has


distinguished themselves in the field and
earned their position. Their combined
skills include expertise in tracking and
firearm handling under extreme pressure.
They are adept in the use of dogs for
tracking criminals, observation and stealth
skills and the locating and apprehension
of poachers.
The team is backed by a solid
infrastructure, which is providing
information, communication and backup
support.
Please contact us with any information
at 015 – 7932585

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Crime in the Festive Season


The festive season is always prone to an
increase in criminal transgressions for a
number of reasons. These include the fact
that often people that work away from home
return on holidays. Criminals then take
advantage of the fact that they may be less
known in an area and are bound to leave
again soon. This way they are more likely to
avoid arrest. There is also the need to fund
the year end parties or provide for the once
off costs of the New Year such as school
fees or new uniforms.

Often the availability of money such as year


end bonuses makes people the target of
offences or the increased spending power
during the holiday time becomes the
proceeds of crime. This affects us all and
affects the international image of South
Africa as a world renowned tourist destination.

Tourists are often naïve to local conditions and make easy targets for criminals. Violent crimes
especially cause devastating destruction to South Africa as a desired holiday destination. The
upcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup will bring hoards of visitors to the country and accommodation
will be high in demand. This could do wonders to our economy in these testing times and it would
be a great pity if this event is marred by criminal tragedy, which could discourage future tourism.

The South African Police Service has announced their commitment to create a crime free
environment for this time and we wish them great success in this endeavour. We do however
need to advise our visitors of the potential dangers they face and how to protect themselves from
falling victim during their stay. We also hope that the influx of people won’t cause a feeding frenzy
amongst the crime elements, which would affect everyone alike.

We have compiled a short document on the dangers of hijacking, which may be common sense
to us, but could prove of benefit to visitors.

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

Hijacking
Hijacking can be defined as stealing a vehicle by using violent means.

The Hijacker
• Often plans the hijacking in advance
• Monitors the potential victim’s movements before he strikes

• Lies in ambush for the victim of the hijacking

• Chooses its target by preselected makes and models of vehicles


• Chooses its target by vulnerability of location and escape routes
• Chooses time of day to successfully implement the hijacking
• Is potentially dangerous and may kill its victim

Targeted Hijacking locations

• Any location where the driver is forced to stop e.g. an entrance gate or a robot

• Areas that are not well lit

• Areas that offer good hiding spots such as dense bushes or trees

• Remote areas where security forces may take a long time to respond

• Situations where the driver is visibly lost


• Areas with weak security

Avoid Being Hijacked


• Put yourself in the shoes of a hijacker to identify possible dangerous situations
• Be aware of popular targeted vehicles at that time in the relevant area
• If a situation appears suspicious keep on driving
• Do not get distracted before entering potentially compromising situations
• If you have a breakdown or flat tyre attempt to slowly drive to a service station
• Ensure that you have sufficient fuel in your vehicle to arrive at your destination

• Do not leave visible valuables in your vehicle and keep it locked

• Ensure nobody is hiding in your vehicle before you enter


• Do not give lifts to strangers
• Do not assist strangers, rather report incidents to the police

• When at an accident scene ensure that it is genuine before exiting vehicle

• Try to avoid driving alone especially after dark

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

• Keep doors locked and windows closed or only slightly open

• Keep some distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you
• Monitor all traffic and pedestrians around you for suspicious behaviour
• Be aware of anybody approaching your vehicle while stationery
• Do not tell strangers of your movements
• If you feel you are being followed drive to the nearest police station

• Where possible ensure ample lighting at your destination

• Do not leave your door open or the engine running while opening a gate

• Vary your routes to your regular destinations

• Avoid travelling to dangerous areas at night


• Plan your routes carefully to avoid getting lost or arriving late

• When going on holiday advise your host on estimated time of arrival

• When visiting people keep their contact number available


• Advise friends or family of your movements

• Avoid delays in instances where the entrance gate opens manually

• With remotely controlled gates ensure that it opens and closes quickly
• Allow some space between your vehicle and the gate
• Scan the area for suspicious individuals on arrival
• Consider reversing into the driveway this way you avoid being surprised from behind and
have the time to make an escape before the gate closes

What to do when being hijacked


• Remain calm
• Do not resist
• Avoid eye contact, this way the attacker feels you wont recognise him again
• Try to remember features of the hijacker that could identify him later
• Hand over anything requested from you
• Do not reach for anything without being told to do so

• Tell them what you are doing e.g. removing seatbelt or reaching for wallet

• When removing a safety belt or handing something over, do so with one hand
• Inform the hijacker if there is a child or pet in the vehicle
• Move slowly

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

• Do not go for help until it is safe to do so

What to do after you were hijacked


• Contact SAPS immediately
• Report any relevant information that may be helpful in solving the case

• Hijackings are traumatic consider getting counselling

Hijacked Vehicles
This edition’s first prize is definitely the recovery of two hijacked vehicles in the White
River area. On the one occasion a suspicious vehicle with four men in it, was reported
exiting a plantation. This is the same location where the SAPS recovered a hijacked
vehicle on the previous day. The vehicle described, was spotted on the road and after
pulling it over the reaction team arrested the suspects inside. The vehicle was reported
as stolen and one of the people of arrested was wanted in Masioy. On a previous
occasion responding to information received about a stolen vehicle, two arrests were
made and a firearm and a Toyota bakkie that was hijacked in the trust were recovered.

Congratulations
The following staff members have been awarded medals for bravery in active duty:

• Teison Ndlozi Alexander Cross Bravery award

• Daniel William Campbell Fourie Alexander Cross Bravery award

• Velly Dlodlo Mavundza Sivis Cross Bravery award

• Killer Stephen Moila Sivis Cross Bravery award

• Damian Julian Trietsch Lawrence Cross Bravery award

• Mniki Lunkile Lawrence Cross Bravery award

• Puleng Lesios Dibakwane Lawrence Cross Bravery award

In Conclusion
Nature conservation cannot function effectively in isolation. The eco-tourism industry is
diverse with many role players acting independently. Environmental crime however

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

affects the entire system. Armed with the proper knowledge and co-operation from all
role players an effective conservation strategy could function successfully. In order for
this to work the laws put in place by the government must be applied and upheld at all
levels and enforced by the structures mandated to do so. We have attached a relevant
document pertaining to a query raised in the National Assembly.

We wish all the friends of Protrack a joyous festive period and a prosperous new year

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

(For written reply)

QUESTION NO. 1569

INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 27 of 2008

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12 September 2008

Mr I F Julies (DA) to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs

and Tourism:

(1) Whether laws and regulations governing the prosecution of

suspected poachers who kill animals in (a) private nature

reserves and (b) private conservancies are used to prosecute

similar crimes in national parks; if not, why not; if so, what are

the relevant details;

(2) what is the maximum fine an individual can receive for killing an

animal illegally in a private nature reserve?

NW2317E

1569. THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND


TOURISM ANSWERS:
(1) No. Poachers in National Parks are prosecuted in terms of the
Regulations pertaining to Proper Administration of Special Nature
Reserves, National Parks and World Heritage Sites, which were

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Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit Newsletter December 2008

promulgated under the National Environmental Management:


Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act 57 of 2003) (NEMPAA).

(a) Poachers in private nature reserves are currently charged


in terms of provincial ordinances. However, if these private
nature reserves have formally been declared as nature reserves
in terms of provincial legislation, poachers will in the near future
be charged in terms of regulations currently being developed in
terms of NEMPAA. These regulations involve nature reserves.

(b) Private conservancies have no status in terms of NEMPAA


and poachers in these areas will therefore be charged in terms of
provincial legislation only.

(2)It is not possible to provide exact information on the maximum fine


for poaching in private nature reserves, as it would depend on the
maximum fine that is prescribed in terms of the relevant provincial
ordinance. For example, certain provincial ordinances still prescribe
a maximum fine of R1500 and/or 18 months imprisonment for first
offenders, and R2000 and/or 24 months imprisonment for second
offenders. Other provinces prescribe 4 years imprisonment, without
prescribing a fine. These penalties increase to 10 years
imprisonment when poaching involves specially protected game
(normally elephant, white rhino and black rhino).

Regardless of which provincial ordinance is involved, these fines


should be read in conjunction with the Adjustment of Fines Act,
1991 (Act No 101 of 1991), where a fine of R20 000 is prescribed
for every 1 year imprisonment prescribed by the provincial
Act/Ordinance.

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