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Court lifts govt ban on rhino horn trade

Judge Francis Legodi found the act was imposed without public consideration.

FILE: A government ban on domestic trade in rhino horn has been set aside. Picture:  Picture: Gerry van der Walt/WildEye

PRETORIA - A government ban on domestic trade in rhino horn has been set aside by the Pretoria High Court.

This means the practice is legal from Thursday.

The Citizen is reporting that Judge Francis Legodi granted an application brought by two game farmers who called for the removal of the temporary ban.

Legodi said the act, which was imposed without public consideration, should be reviewed.

The Environmental Affairs Department's Albi Modise says they are now looking for a way forward.

"The minister will have to study the judgment delivered today in Pretoria."

Meanwhile, 12 suspects including three police officers, are expected to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court today for alleged rhino poaching.

The group is believed to be part of a larger syndicate operating in Gauteng and the North West.

They were arrested in two separate operations this week and are facing several charges, including money laundering and racketeering.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said, "This syndicate has been allegedly involved in the killing of rhinos in the North West as well as Gauteng and also allegedly sold rhino horns in the country. As such, we believe that some of it was meant for overseas buyers."