Justice department halts uprooting of Skukuza ‘poaching’ court
The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has halted the decision to close down Skukuza Regional Court and move it almost 100km away from the Kruger National Park.
A petition was created to fight the unexpected closure of the court, which is seen as a valuable environmental court in the fight against rhino poaching.
Activists have argued that moving the court further away could have dire consequences for rhinos and rangers in private game reserves.
It's understood that the court relocation was aimed at finding a more central location for magistrates and prosecutors.
However, the department's spokesperson Crispin Phiri explains that key stakeholders were not consulted about the decision to relocate the court.
Phiri says a decision cannot be taken without the input of the Justice Ministry, the Judge President of the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The minister has called for a moratorium to get a proper briefing on what the understanding is and the motivation for moving the court.Crispin Phiri, Minister of justice and correctional services spokesperson
We do understand the important role the court plays in that particular community and in conserving our environment in so far as rhino poaching is concerned.Crispin Phiri, Minister of justice and correctional services spokesperson
Some of the important players that needed to be informed about this move were not aware of it.Crispin Phiri, Minister of justice and correctional services spokesperson
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