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206 alleged rhino poachers arrested so far this year

The Hawks head says a number of arrests have been made and the courts are securing convictions.

Rangers at the Kruger National Park have their hands full as the war against rhino poaching continues. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks say 206 alleged rhino poachers have been arrested since January this year.

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza has given a report back on government's integrated strategic management approach to curb rhino poaching.

He says a number of arrests have been made and the courts are securing convictions.

"Since 1 January 2016, a total of 206 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa."

Yesterday, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa revealed that rhino poaching decreased nationally, but the number of attacks on rhino in the Kruger National Park has increased.

But the minister says that government interventions are showing positive results.

"In the first four months of 2016, 363 rhino were poached countrywide and during the same period last year that number was 404."

She says the numbers have increased in the Kruger National Park, sitting at 1,038 rhino attacked in the first four months of this year.

CONVICTION RATE

Justice Minister Michael Masutha says 78 percent of suspects accused of rhino poaching have been convicted.

He's joined a team of environmental officials and Hawks members in giving a report back on efforts to curb rhino poaching.

"I know with the prosecutions between April 2015 and March 2016 there were some 49 finalised cases involving about 103 accused. A total of 80 of these accused were actually convicted which resulted in a conviction rate of 78 percent."