4 March 2012: Open Letter to President Zuma - https://www.facebook.com/s24rc/posts/313683755355585
3 March 2012: Press Statement - https://www.facebook.com/notes/section-24-rights-coalition-ngo-on-protection-of-the-environment/press-release-2012-02-03-world-solutions-to-illegal-rhino-horn-trade-required/312508772139750
22 February 2012: President Zuma and the nine cabinet members received the Rhino Ultimatum files.
Each month sees more than 50 rhino brutally hacked for their horns. Our Collective Voice will reduce that to zero.
The Rhino species - a World Heritage icon and a cornerstone species of the Big 5 - is held in trust by the South African government for our and future generations. Rhino survival stands on a knife edge today. South African government ministers must uphold their Oaths of Office.
Read the 9 point plan and the Declaration of Intent - the two key elements in the Rhino Ultimatum.
1. MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUING OF RHINO TROPHY-HUNTING PERMITS, until corruption surrounding these permits are eradicated, and until such time as the issuing of these permits is fully transparent and follows good governance principles as laid down by the King III Commission of 2009.
2. MORATORIUM ON THE SALE OF STATE OWNED RHINO until a complete census of Rhino population numbers has been commissioned and completed.
3. A COMPLETE CENSUS of the Rhino population in South Africa, to ascertain with ACCURACY the number of living black and white Rhino, monitored and audited by an independent conservation body.
4. LIFT THE GAG ORDER on vital Rhino death statistics and information.
5. EVALUATE THE RHINO HORN TREATMENT INITIATIVE endorsed by South African and international wildlife conservationists as an immediate, effective, holistic and sustainable solution to the Rhino carnage.
6. CLARIFY GOVERNMENT INTENTION with regard to the trade in Rhino horn. Do not consider participating in bogus medicine fraud.
7. DESTROY ALL STOCK-PILED RHINO HORN. Any talk of trade in Rhino horn simply fuels the 'medicine' myth and is destructive to the survival of the Rhino species.
8. ENFORCE and MONITOR ALL THE 1993 CITES RECOMMENDATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS.
9. ENGAGE THE PEOPLES' REPUBIC OF CHINA, a co-signatory to the 1993 CITES agreement, for the purpose of trans-national co-operation to end the trade in animal body parts, including all diplomatic measures at the SA government's disposal, invoking multi-national alliances and economic sanctions.
DECLARATION OF INTENT:
On Sunday 22 April 2012, should Government fail to act satisfactorily, we will implement immediate boycott action of certain South African economic segments that fail to support the rhino, namely:
1. South African agricultural exports
2. South African services exports
Sign this petition today to voice support for extreme pressure to be placed on the SA Government, which have failed to live up to promises made in Section 24 of the Constitution (protection of the environment).
I am outraged that the Rhino killings continue unabated day and night in South Africa! If the South African government cannot or will not act on the 9 point plan, I will personally act on the Declaration of Intent.
ON WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2012, THE RHINO ULTIMATUM - OUR IMMEDIATE AND UNWAVERING CALL TO ACTION - WILL BE DELIVERED PERSONALLY AND ENTIRELY, INCLUDING EVERY SIGNATURE, TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSEES AT THE UNION BUILDINGS, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA:
1. Office of the President, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
2. Office of the Deputy President, Mr Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe
3. Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Maite M. Nkoana-Mashabane
4. Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs, Ms B.E. Molewa
5 Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson,
6. Minister of Trade and Development, Dr Rob Davies
7. Minister of Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk
8. Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring, Evaluation, Administration, Mr Ohm Collins Chabane
9. Minister of Communications, Ms D. Pule
10. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr J.T. Radebe
It will be delivered to nine South African Provincial Government Premiers, nine South African Government Directors General, United Nations Secretary General, the African Union, CITES, IUCN Directors General and the world media.
OUR COLLECTIVE, IMMEDIATE AND UNWAVERING CALL TO ACTION TO HALT THE IMMINENT EXTINCTION OF THE RHINO SPECIES IS:
1. We EXPECT the South African government place an IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUING OF RHINO TROPHY-HUNTING PERMITS:
a) until such time as the rumoured corruption surrounding these permits is investigated, and any and all government officials, private individuals and/or groups of individuals found to be in contravention of South African and CITES laws are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A recent report showed that over the past three years, at least 69% of Rhino trophy-hunting activities have fronted for illegal trafficking and trade in Rhino horn with the Far East.
b) because it directly relates to the fact that no accurate living Rhino population number in South Africa is known - for both Black and White Rhino. Numbers and statistics vary dramatically depending on the "statistic" issuing authority. Reputable wildlife conservationists estimate the number of live Rhino remaining in South Africa today to be 9 500 to 11 000. South African government claims the number to be in the region of 22 000.
c) which must remain in place until such time as the issuing of these permits is fully transparent and follows good governance principles as laid down by the King III Commission of 2009.
d) so that the South African government can make informed decisions about the protection and preservation of the Rhino species.
2. We EXPECT the South African government place an IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON THE SALE OF STATE OWNED RHINO until a complete census of Rhino population numbers has been commissioned and completed. An accurate number of living Rhino is not known. So, in all good conscience the SA government cannot sell publicly owned Rhino.
3. We EXPECT the South African government to commission an IMMEDIATE AND COMPLETE CENSUS of the Rhino population in South Africa, using best possible methodology to ascertain with ACCURACY the number of living black and white Rhino. We EXPECT this census to be monitored and audited by an independent conservation body (the complete census should take no longer than two weeks).
4. We EXPECT the South African government to IMMEDIATELY LIFT THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL MEDIA-GAG ORDER currently in place. The media-gag order witholds vital Rhino death statistics and information from Citizens of the United Nations of the World.
5. We EXPECT the South African government to IMMEDIATELY APPOINT A PANEL OF DIVERSE EXPERTS TO EVALUATE THE RHINO HORN TREATMENT INITIATIVE endorsed by South African and international wildlife conservationists as an immediate, effective, holistic and sustainable solution to the Rhino carnage.
6. We EXPECT the South African government to IMMEDIATELY CLARIFY ITS INTENTION with regard to the trade in Rhino horn. It has been reported that it is considering applying to CITES to lift the 1993 CITES international ban of trade in Rhino horn, as well its own internal ban of Rhino horn trade. The state is required to be a law-abiding citizen. Rhino horn trade within the borders of South Africa would only encourage illegal activity, that being to ship Rhino horn from South Africa to other countries in contravention of CITES laws.
7. We EXPECT the South African government to IMMEDIATELY DESTROY ALL STOCK-PILED RHINO HORN, estimated to be 10 000 - 12 000 kilograms in weight. Rhino horn has been proven in numerous University and Scientific studies to have no medicinal properties. Then, why is it necessary for the South African government to stock-pile something as valueless and useless as Rhino horn? Any talk of trade in Rhino horn simply fuels the 'medicine' myth and is destructive to the survival of the Rhino species. Therefore Rhino horn stockpiles must be burned.
8. We EXPECT the South African government to INSTITUTE THE 1993 CITES RECOMMENDATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS in its entirety, and that it, furthermore, demonstrates how this will be ENFORCED AND MONITORED.
9. We EXPECT the South African government to IMMEDIATELY ENGAGE THE PEOPLES' REPUBIC OF CHINA, a co-signatory to the 1993 CITES agreement, for the purpose of trans-national co-operation to end the trade in animal body-parts and by-products, including all diplomatic measures at the SA government's disposal, invoking multi-national alliances and economic sanctions.
DECLARATION OF INTENT:
After Wednesday 22 February 2012, the South African government has until Sunday 22 April 2012, to implement and effect the necessary legislation and measures described in the 9 points above. Should it fail to act satisfactorily, we will implement immediate boycott action of certain South African economic segments, namely:
1. South African agricultural exports
2. South African services exports
Furthermore, we note with concern, that should the RHINO ULTIMATUM receive unsatisfactory response from the South African government by the due date of Sunday 22 April 2012, the impact on South Africa as a tourist destination will be greatly affected. It will certainly tarnish South Africa's reputation as an international eco-tourism destination. In addition, it will negatively impact South Africa's reputation as a member of the African Union and the United Nations.
This Declaration of Intent may also include an application to the Consitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa demanding that the South African government fulfils its Constitutional obligations described herein.
SUPPORTING REFERENCES FOR THIS PETITION:
1. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
2. South African office bearers' obligations and Oaths of Offices
3. South Africa's United Nations status
4. South Africa's African Union status
5. South Africa's General Memberships
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, is viewed internationally as one of the most progressive and respected in existence. It was carefully drafted between 1990 and 1994 by key South African and international leader, including Mr. Nelson Mandela. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa enshrines and advances the Constitutional rights and responsiblities of all South African citizens, individually and collectively. Relevant extracts from the Constitution of the Repubic of South Africa, as evidence of the rights of South African citizens enshrined in the Bill of Rights, are included below. These rights include the protection and preservation of the South African National Wildlife Heritage. Further, are the Oaths of Office sworn to by the President and Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.
FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBIC OF SOUTH AFRICA: BILL OF RIGHTS
24. Environment - Everyone has the right :
-to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and
-to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that
a)prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
b)promote conservation; and
c)secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
38. Enforcement of Rights: Anyone listed in this section has the right to approach a competent court, alleging that a right in the Bill of Rights has been infringed or threatened, and the court may grant appropriate relief, including a declaration of rights. The persons who may approach a court are:
anyone acting in their own interest;
anyone acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in their own name;
anyone acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of persons;
anyone acting in the public interest; and
an association acting in the interest of its members.
39. Interpretation of Bill of Rights
1. When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum
a. must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;
b. must consider international law; and
c. may consider foreign law.
1.When interpreting any legislation, and when developing the common law or customary law, every court, tribunal or forum must promote the spirit, purport and objects of the Bill of Rights.
2. The Bill of Rights does not deny the existence of any other rights or freedoms that are recognised or conferred by common law, customary law or legislation, to the extent that they are consistent with the Bill.