Thursday, September 23, 2010

Journalists attending the trial of alleged poachers are detained

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 21:01

JOHANNESBURG - Three journalists nearly missed yesterday’s rhino poaching trial after police detained them for attempting to sneak pictures of the 11 accused.

South African Press Association (Sapa) photographer Werner Beukes, Beeld photographer Herman Verwey and SABC cameraman Lewellyn Carstens were held for 45 minutes at the Musina police station after the station commander told them they were not allowed to take pictures.

The Citizen understands that the station commissioner took issue after members of the media tried to sneak pictures of the detainees inside the police station – prompting Hawks spokesman Musa Zondi to ask police Colonel Vishnu Naidoo to intervene on their behalf.

Sapa editor Mark van der Velden later expressed dismay at the incident, saying it was an “embarrassment” to the police that a National Prosecuting Authority official had to “intervene and explain things to the police commander”.

After their release the photographers continued taking pictures of the accused crammed in the dock. Most of the men were wearing khaki shirts and denims.

Sariette Groenewald, wearing a striped dress, stood next to her game farmer husband, Dawie Groenewald, while Mariza Toet, a petite blonde dressed in a polka-dot top, was wedged between her veterinarian husband Karel Toet, and his colleague, Manie du Plessis, the two alleged masterminds.

Family members gave audible sighs of relief when the accused were granted bail.

The Citizen

Comments by Sonny

Why was this station commissioner protecting suspected 'Rhino Killers?" Is he

possibly one of the syndicate benefiting from Rhino Horn sales?

A great civil claim is in the pipeline!!

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