Africa’s first investigative environmental journalism unit

Combining traditional investigative reporting with data analysis and geo-mapping to expose eco-offences and track organised criminal syndicates in southern Africa

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Exposing global environmental crime stories
Track developments in rhino poaching court cases across South Africa
Instant access to data on rhino deaths and poaching incidents since 2010
Keep tabs on data from rhino poaching court cases across South Africa
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#GreenAlert helps you track & share environmental impact assessments



'We know our lives are in danger': New report exposes attacks on SA's eco-defenders.#MineAlert's Andiswa Matikinca reviews the findings at
Human Rights Watch groundWork Earthjustice
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Update on the case involving this weekend’s #rhino horn bust in North West provinceReport received from Simon Bloch:

Two suspects arrested in possession of the reported 187 rhino horns at the weekend, appeared in the Brits Magistrates Court this morning.

Petrus Steyn, 60, and Clive John Melville, 57, face charges of committing a restricted activity involving protected species without a permit.

Police also seized two vehicles and a firearm.

It is not yet clear to whom the suspects were transporting the horns, and whether they are members of an illegal syndicate, or had been hired as delivery boys.

According to a police media report released on Sunday,the horns were due to be shipped illegally to the underground rhino horn market in South East Asia.

Police have not yet confirmed whether there is evidence linking Steyn and Melville to the shipment of 82kgs seized at the Hong Kong International Airport 10 days ago.

Those horns, seized in a shipment falsely declared as auto parts and due to be trans-shipped from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, originated from a direct flight from South Africa to Hong Kong.

Customs agents in Hong Kong discovered the horns after scanning the consignment and noticing suspicious shapes.

Pictures of those horns displayed by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Dept suggest the rhino horns had been legally harvested and stockpiled by a rhino farmer or more, before being deliberately leaked and shipped from South Africa.

The required stockpile registration and identification code numbers appear to have been carefully removed by either hand held sand-paper, or a mechanical sanding machine.

According to a leading veterinary professional, this latest debacle "necessitates the URGENT need for an independent Inspectorate for auditing rhino horn stocks", not only in South Africa, but also Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, Nepal, and all countries where rhino stockpiles are kept, but especially South Africa!

Steyn and Melville have been remanded in custody, and the case was postponed untill April 26 for further investigation and formal bail applications.

Questions sent to the SAPS had not been answered at time of this publication being posted.

Pictures of the horns seized over the weekend, and circulated on social media platforms, clearly show most of their registration and identification numbers.

The horns seized in Hong Kong seem to show the identification markings had been sanded off.
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#MineAlert: The Draft Scoping Report for the amendment of current 83MR mining right: Thetha Terrace Mining Project near Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga has been released. Visit for more info. Interested & Affected Parties are invited to a Public Open Day on 16 April 2019 at Pilgrim’s Rest Museum from 3pm ... See MoreSee Less

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#MineAlert: The Ga-Ngwepe community of Early Dawn in Limpopo is determined to oppose an exploration right granted to Platinum Group Metals’ Waterberg JV Resources (Pty) Ltd, which began drilling & prospecting activities in 2018. Impacts in residential areas include disturbed borehole water, noise & dust pollution, and destroyed graves. The Department of Mineral Resources still has not released the results of a joint investigation conducted with the Department of Water and Sanitation in September 2018. Visit for more info.
Photo: Johan Lorenzen
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