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2015-01-26

Johannesburg - A man arrested for trying to sell a rhino horn in Johannesburg is expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, the Hawks said on Sunday.

"It is believed the suspect was planning to sell the horn to a potential client who did not show up," Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement.

The 33-year-old man was arrested on Saturday afternoon in Sandton by a crime intelligence and canine unit while he allegedly had the horn in a bag.

Mulaudzi said investigations to determine the horn's originality through DNA analysis is already underway, as is a check on the man's citizenry and domicile as he is believed to be a Chinese national.

 

 

Mulaudzi said it is illegal to sell rhino horn in South Africa without the right papers and the man allegedly did not have the documentation which would have allowed a sale.

Last year 1 215 rhino were poached in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the opposition Democratic Alliance want Environmental Minister Edna Molewa to say whether the government will continue to maintain a neutral stance on rhino horn trade pending the outcome of its feasibility study into the matter.

DA MP Terri Stander said questions in Parliament on the subject have gone answered, so she sent a follow up letter on Sunday, seeking clarity.

"The idea of regulating the trade in rhino horn is contrary to the aims of protecting the species and should not be entertained," said Stander.

"There is still very scant evidence that legalising the trade will lead to a drop in poaching numbers," Stander said.

She said South Africans needed to know what the country's stance on the issue is.

- SAPA