Allegations Anti-Poaching Detective is being Targeted for Going After Poachers with Political Protection

Over the past 48 hours the outpouring of support for Detective JP van Zyl-Roux is something that will go down in history, according to JAMIE JOSEPH, from Saving the Wild.

Black rhino charge. Photo credit: Thomas D. Mangelsen | Saving the Wild Collection

“I know this to be true, because we are just getting started, and the chapters ahead will forever change the narrative of the poaching crisis,” says Jamie.

“No longer will we stay silent while unsung heroes are persecuted for going after #rhino #poachers who have political protection.”

The 47-year-old anti-poaching policeman, van Zyl-Roux, is facing an internal disciplinary hearing this week… which his lawyer, and wildlife conservationists, believe is nothing more than a “thinly veiled” attempt to get him fired, as he has been dealing with a case which allegedly involves a poacher with close ties to top politicians.

The charges, according to Times Live, are “failing to hand over a docket to anti-corruption investigators‚ having private firearms at work and bringing the force into disrepute”.

Those who say they are in the know, however believe he is being targeted by alleged poaching kingpins and their political allies. His lawyer told the newspaper it’s “blatantly obvious” someone is trying to get rid of his client, who has arrested dozens of poaching suspects during his career.

Jamie Joseph, international photographer Thomas Mangelsen, and well known Ezemvelo ‘Wild Vet’ Dave Cooper, amongst others, have come out in public support of van Zyl-Roux. Cooper says: “One can only wonder why a top cop like this has been taken off duty? Just how high does the corruption go?

Joseph has been on a mission to raise money to fight the alleged poaching corruption in South Africa… that appears to enable the ongoing massacre of its rhino.

“Two weeks ago our ‘ Thomas Mangelsen Photographic Benefit ’ in Los Angeles (LA) raised in excess of R2 million rand (US165k) – and these critical funds are being put towards our urgent mission of exposing and eradicating #corruption-enabling rhino poaching,” says Jamie.

“I was lucky to be by Tom’s side in the lead up to our LA event, plotting a #wildlife expedition that will shine a light on the ‘extraordinary and the vanishing’.

“There were times when I would end a phone call with my team back in South Africa and Tom would catch me fighting back the tears; the rage and the anguish that rhinos were being massacred – and we could have saved them – but great men like Detective JP van Zyl-Roux were not empowered to make the arrests.

“Tom has suffered with us, and that is why he feels honoured to be able to donate his art as a force for good.

I cannot stress what an uphill battle it is to save rhinos when there is so much corruption and the best of the best are left kicking their heels.

“I have all these secrets and I cannot sleep at night because I don’t know who to tell.

Jamie Joseph – “Rogue police officers will come for me – they will try to arrest me on trumped up charges – or even worse, torture me for information, if the bastards can find me.” Photo credit: Thomas D. Mangelsen

“For more than a year I have been in possession of credible information that certain #Ezemvelo rangers were “allegedly” supplying rhino horns to the “alleged” rhino kingpin Dumisani Gwala – who has conveniently been out on a meagre R10,000 bail since December 2014 after being charged with ‘dealing in rhino horn and attempted murder of a police officer’.

“Finally, through the informer network, we recently had the opportunity to arrest the “alleged” traitors in a sting operation… but trusted police officers were not empowered to set it up.

“I felt, with good reason, that there was just too much risk passing information along to a different police department, which was the only option available.

“The risk was that either the informer would get exposed, or the traitors would have got tipped off.

“In this particular situation the Ezemvelo rangers have now been suspended, but we missed out on the opportunity of catching them red handed – and smacking them with criminal charges as opposed to departmental charges – and making an example of them!

“There are some outstanding Ezemvelo boots on the ground, working under treacherous conditions, and they deserve better. The #rhinos they risk their lives to protect deserve better.

Black Rhinos – the Golden Hour. Photo credit: Thomas D. Mangelsen | Saving the Wild Collection

“I could go on and on and on, but for the next couple weeks I need to cool my jets and strategically plan our next moves.

Rogue police officers will come for me – they will try to arrest me on trumped up charges – or even worse, torture me for information, if the bastards can find me.

“And I can tell you this much, we are prepared for battle: Alea iacta est….Roll the dice.

“Sincere gratitude to all the global citizens and the NGOs with backbone that are standing up to corruption and showing support for JP. A lot of you have worked with this amazing man, and so you know, truly, that to save the rhinos of #Zululand we need to save JP!”

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos
Rhinos in Africa
SA-People – for South Africans in South Africa and expats
Saving The Survivors – NPC | Action For Rhinos
Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization
Wild Tomorrow Fund

“This needs to be known. This man – JP Van Zyl-Roux – is my friend and trusted colleague with whom I am proud to have worked on many occasions. His dedication to bringing down poachers is beyond question. He has put away a lot of bad people in his time, and saved countless rhino in the process. A few years ago he was honoured by the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation for an “Outstanding contribution and unwavering commitment towards Wildlife Conservation”. One can only wonder why a top cop like this has been taken off duty? Just how high does the corruption go? JP, you have my full support and trust. Strength to you and may justice prevail.”

Most of the above article supplied to SAPeople by Jamie Joseph, Saving the Wild. All photos supplied by Jamie Joseph and taken by Thomas D. Mangelsen. #SAPSCorruption #JusticeForRhinos